Monday, April 4, 2016

Unmet High Expectations

O. T. #728      "Unmet High Expectations"
April 4, 2016
2 Samuel 17
When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he...  2 Samuel 17:23


Absalom, David's son who lead a revolt and established himself as a new king of Israel, heard two counselors-Ahithophel, former advisor of David and Bathsheba's grandfather, and Hushai, David's spy sent to advise Absalom. Now the two men gave opposite advice and plans to their new ruler.

Ahithophel wanted to take 12,000 men and pursue David and kill him. Note that he wanted to be the leader. His thinking was David's men would come back to Jerusalem and join Absalom. I suspect that Ahithophel had high expectations, maybe being established as the second in command of Israel  or top commander of the army.

On the other hand, Hushai recommended they wait, allowing time for men to come from the north and south to join Absalom's army. He then suggested Absalom personally lead his army to capture David. Hushai was rather smart in that he used Absalom's pride, egotism, and paranoia to his advantage. Absalom and the men of Israel approved Hushai's plan, giving time for David to get the word about the plan of pursuit.

You will recall that Hushai was sent to counteract Ahithophel's advice to Absalom, taking the priests Zadok and Abiathar and sons with him. They were to inform David of Absalom's plans so David could escape his death caused by his son.

What happens next?
  • Hushai told those priests about Ahithophel's advise and his advise.
  • He told the priest to quickly find David and urge him not to stay at the shallows of the Jordan River that night, but go into the wilderness beyond. Otherwise, David and his army would die. 
  • (Stay with me dear one.) Now the two guys Jonathan and Ahimaaz had been previously been established as the messengers to David and were staying in the town of En-rogel so they wouldn't be seen going in and out of the city.
  • It was arranged that a servant girl would actually take the message to King David. Sounds like a good, easy, and simple plan, right?
  • Well, a boy saw those two men in town, Jonathan and Ahimaaz, and told Absalom.
  • They quickly escaped to Bahurim, where a man hid them down inside a well in his courtyard. The man's wife put a cloth over the top of the well, then scattered grain on it to dry in the sun, so no one would suspect they were there. I call it a good cover up.
  • When Absalom's men arrived, the man's wife told them the two men crossed over the brook.
  • It was a good cover up because Absalom's men did not find them and returned to Jerusalem.
  • The two men quickly crawled out of the well and went directly to King David themselves and informed him what was going on.
Do you see how God is protecting King David? Even when the devil tries to interfere, he cannot thwart God's plans. Boy, do I need to be reminded of that. How about you?


When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. Wow! Talk about having your high expectations shattered. He took it to the extreme, didn't he? Perhaps he thought Abssalom would be defeated and he would have to answer to David for his disloyalty. Similarly, Judas went out and hanged himself after he betrayed Jesus.

When our expectations are not met, when our anticipations are not met, how do we react? Hopefully, we are trusting in the Lord Jesus, always. People will let us down, but Jesus never fails.

Your unfailing love is better than life itself; how I praise you! (Ps. 63:3)

In the meantime, David escaped across the Jordan River at night to Mahanaim, where he set up camp. Then Absalom and his army pursed David, crossing the Jordan.
Wait a minute. Who is Absalom's commander of his army? A man named Amasa. We have not read of him before. Who is that Amasa?
  • He replaced Joab who had been David's army commander and left with David.
  • He was the son of Abigail, who was David's sister or half-sister (1 Chron. 2:17).
  • Amasa and Joab were David's nephews and Absalom's cousin.
Talk about keeping it in the family. Keep in mind that sufficient time had passed for Absalom's army to grow large. They passed into Gilead, the high-eastern area across the Jordan.

We jump over to David and what is happening to him and his army/people. David was greeted by three friends and supporters, Shobi, Makir, and Barzillai of Gilead. They brought sleeping mats, cooking utensils, and food.

You must all be very hungry and tired and thirsty after your long march through the wilderness. (verse 29 NLT)

God continues to provide for David.
In Psalm 3, we read where David said, "But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; You are my glory, and the one who holds my head high. (NLT)

Maybe I should have started with these verses today, for they are encouraging. Are our high expectations on our self or Jesus?


Trust in God for all that I need.

When my expectations re not met, trust in my Sovereign King Jesus.

Keep the faith...

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