Ever had someone go behind your back and try to deceive you? Ever had someone you cared for and trusted try to stir up a revolt? What would you do? What would you say? How would you respond?
How would those around you respond? How would those you trust respond? What would it look like? How would it feel?
Where will you put your hope? Where will you put your trust? Where will you turn?
This happened to David in today’s reading, let’s check out what happens…
1Now it came about after this that Absalom provided himself with a chariot, horses and 50 men as runners before him. 2Absalom used to rise up early and stand beside the road to the city gate. Whenever anyone had a suit to come to the king for justice, then Absalom would call to him and say, “What town are you from?” Should he answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel,” 3Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no one assigned to you by the king to hear you.” 4Moreover, Absalom would say, “If only I were appointed judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or case would come to me, and I would get him justice!” 5Also, whenever anyone approached to bow to him, he would stretch his hand, take hold of him, and kiss him. 6So Absalom kept doing this to everyone of Israel who came to the king for judgment. Thus Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel. 7At the end of 40 years Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go to Hebron and pay my vow which I have vowed to Adonai. 8For your servant vowed a vow while I was still living at Geshur in Aram saying, ‘If Adonai will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve Adonai.’” 9So the king said to him, “Go in shalom.” Then he rose and went to Hebron. 10But Absalom sent spies to all the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the shofar, then you are to say, ‘Absalom has become king in Hebron!’” 11Now 200 men from Jerusalem went with Absalom, who were invited and were going innocently, knowing nothing of the situation. 12Also Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor from his town Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. So the conspiracy gained momentum for the people following Absalom continued to increase. 13Then a messenger came to David saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are following Absalom.”
David’s Exodus from Jerusalem
14Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else none of us will escape from Absalom. Leave in haste or else he will overtake us quickly and bring disaster down on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15Then the king’s officials said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.” 16So the king set out, and his entire household followed him. But the king left behind ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17As the king went out and all the people after him, they paused at the last house. 18All his servants passed on beside him: all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites and all the Gittites—600 men that had come after him from Gath—passed on before the king. 19Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why should you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place. 20Your arrival was only yesterday—should I make you wander around with us today, to go wherever I may go? Go back and take your kinsmen back with you. Kindness and truth be with you!” 21But Ittai answered the king and said, “As Adonai lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king will be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” 22So David said to Ittai, “Go on and cross over.” So Ittai the Gittite passed on, with all his men and all the little children who were with him. 23While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people were crossing over as the king was crossing over Kidron Valley. So all the people crossed over toward the road of the wilderness. 24Then behold, Zadok also came and all the Levites with him, carrying the ark of the covenant of God. They set down the ark of God, then Abiathar came up, until all the people had passed by, out of the city. 25But the king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in Adonai’s eyes, He will bring me back, and let me see it and His dwelling. 26But if He says thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good in His eyes.” 27The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Do you not see? Return to the city in shalom with your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son and Jonathan son of Abiathar. 28See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness, until word comes from you to inform me.” 29Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there. 30Then David continued to go up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he ascended. He had his head covered and was walking barefoot. So all the people with him each covered his head as they went up, weeping as they ascended. 31Then someone told David saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” So David prayed, “Adonai, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.” 32Then David went on until he reached the summit—where God was worshiped—and behold, Hushai the Archite met him with his coat rent and dust on his head. 33David said to him, “If you pass on with me then you will be a burden to me, 34but if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king—I was your father’s servant from then, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can thwart Ahithophel’s counsel for me. 35Won’t you have with you Zadok and Abiathar the kohanim there? So whatever you hear from the royal palace, you should report it to Zadok and Abiathar the kohanim. 36See, they have their two sons with them there, Zadok’s son Ahimaaz, and Abiathar’s son Jonathan—by them you can send to me everything you hear.” 37So David’s friend Hushai reached the city just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.
–from 2 Samuel 15
Will you trust in God? Will you give it up into His hands? Will you believe in Him no matter what? Will all your hope be in God?
1A Psalm of David, when he fled from his son Absalom. 2Adonai, how many are my foes! Many are rising up against me! 3Many are saying to my soul: “There is no deliverance for him in God.” Selah 4But You, Adonai, are a shield around me, my glory and the lifter of my head. 5I cry out to Adonai with my voice, and He answers me from His holy mountain. Selah 6I lie down and sleep. I awake—for Adonai sustains me. 7I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people all around who have taken their stand against me. 8Arise, Adonai! Deliver me, my God! For you strike all my enemies on the cheek. You shatter the teeth of the wicked. 9Deliverance belongs to Adonai. Let Your blessing be on Your people. Selah
–from Psalms 3
So let’s praise God through it all! During the highest highs and the lowest lows, let’s praise God because He never changes and we can trust in Him at all times! God is love! There is no darkness in Him! So put your trust in Him!
Covenant with David’s Seed
1A contemplative song of Ethan the Ezrahite. 2I will sing of the love of Adonai forever. To all generations I will make known Your faithfulness with my mouth. 3For I said, “Let your lovingkindness be built up forever! The heavens—let Your faithfulness be made firm there!” 4“I have made a covenant with My chosen one. I have sworn to David My servant: 5‘Forever I will establish your seed, and will build your throne from generation to generation.’” Selah 6The heavens praise Your wonders, Adonai —Your faithfulness, too— in the assembly of the kedoshim. 7For who in the skies can compare to Adonai? Who is like Adonai among the sons of gods? 8God is greatly feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all around Him. 9Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot, who is like You, mighty Adonai, with Your faithfulness all around You? 10You rule over the swelling of the sea. When its waves mount up, You still them. 11You crushed Rahab like a slain one. You scattered Your enemies with Your mighty arm. 12The heavens are Yours, also Yours the earth —the world and its fullness— You have founded them. 13You created the north and the south. Tabor and Hermon sing for joy at Your Name. 14Your arm is mighty, Your hand is strong, exalted is Your right hand. 15Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne. Lovingkindness and truth go before You. 16Blessed are the people who know the joyful shout, They walk in the light of Your presence, Adonai. 17They rejoice in Your Name all day, and by Your righteousness they are exalted. 18For You are the glory of their strength, and by Your favor our horn is exalted. 19For our shield belongs to Adonai, and our king to the Holy One of Israel. 20Then You spoke in vision to Your godly ones, and said: “I have bestowed help on a warrior. I have exalted one chosen from among the people. 21I have found David My servant. With My holy oil I have anointed him. 22With him My hand will be established. Surely My arm will strengthen him. 23No enemy will exact tribute from him, no son of wickedness will oppress him. 24I will crush his adversaries before him, and strike down those who hate him. 25My faithfulness and My lovingkindness will be with him, and by My Name his horn will be exalted. 26I will also set his hand over the sea, his right hand over the rivers. 27He will call to Me: ‘You are my Father, my God and the rock of my salvation.’ 28I also will set him as firstborn— the highest of the kings of earth. 29I will maintain My love for him forever, and My covenant with him will be firm. 30His seed I will establish forever, and his throne as the days of heaven. 31If his sons forsake My Torah, and do not walk in My judgments, 32if they violate My decrees, and do not keep My mitzvot, 33then I will punish their transgression with the rod, and their iniquity with flogging. 34But I will not withdraw My lovingkindness from him, nor will I betray My faithfulness. 35I will not violate My covenant, nor alter what My lips have uttered. 36Once for all I have sworn by My holiness —surely I will not lie to David— 37his descendants will endure forever, and his throne as the sun before Me, 38and as the moon, established forever, and a trustworthy witness in the sky.” Selah 39But You have cast off and spurned, You have become furious with Your anointed one. 40You have renounced the covenant of Your servant. You have defiled his crown even to the ground. 41You have broken down all his walls. You reduced his strongholds to ruin. 42All who pass by have plundered him. He has become a taunt to his neighbors. 43You exalted the right hand of his foes and made all his enemies rejoice. 44You turned back the edge of his sword and have not supported him in battle. 45You brought his splendor to an end, and cast his throne down to the ground. 46You cut short the days of his youth. You covered him with shame. Selah 47How long, Adonai, will You hide Yourself? Forever? Will Your fury keep burning like fire? 48Remember how short my life span is! For what futility have You created all the children of men? 49What man can live and not see death? Can he deliver himself from the clutches of Sheol? Selah 50Where is Your former lovingkindness, my Lord, which You swore to David in Your faithfulness? 51Remember, my Lord, the mockery against Your servants that I bear in my heart from so many peoples. 52How Your enemies have mocked, Adonai, how they have mocked the footsteps of Your Anointed One! 53Blessed be Adonai forever. Amen and Amen.
–from Psalms 89
So let’s be ready! Let’s be ready when times are good! Let’s be ready when times are tough! Let’s be ready to tell of where our hope and help come from!
A time is coming where people will be turning away from the truth! They will be chasing after their own selfish desires over the truth! So we need to be ready! We need to have clear minds! We need to be ready to withstand hardship! We need to not grow weary in doing good work and sharing the truth of God! We need to spread the Good News and complete our task, our purpose, and our calling! We need to finish strong! We need to not give up! Let’s run to win! Let’s keep the faith!
1I solemnly charge you—in the presence of God and Messiah Yeshua, who is about to judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom— 2proclaim the Word! Be ready when it is convenient or inconvenient. Confront, rebuke, encourage—with complete patience and instruction. 3For the time will come when they will not put up with sound instruction, but they will pile up for themselves teachers in keeping with their own desires, to have their ears tickled. 4And they will turn away from hearing the truth and wander off to myths. 5You, however, keep a clear mind in all things, withstand hardship, do the work of proclaiming the Good News, and fulfill your service.
Finishing the Fight, Receiving the Crown
6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith. 8In the future there is reserved for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not to me only, but also to everyone who has longed for His appearing. 9Do all you can to come to me quickly— 10for Demas, having loved this world, has deserted me and gone to Thessolonica; Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11Luke is the only one with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, for he is useful to me for service. 12I have sent Tychius to Ephesus. 13When you come, bring the cloak which I left with Carpus in Troas, along with the scrolls, and especially the parchments. 14Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm—the Lord will repay him according to his deeds. 15Be on guard against him too, for he vehemently opposed our message. 16At my first defense, no one stood by me; instead, they all deserted me—may it not be counted against them! 17But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be proclaimed in full measure, and all the nations might hear—and I was rescued from the lion’s mouth! 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and will deliver me safely into His heavenly Kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.
19Greet Prisca and Aquila, and the household of Onesiphorus. 20Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21Do all you can to come before winter. Eubulus sends you greetings, as do Pudens, Linus, Claudia, and all the brothers and sisters. 22The Lord be with your spirit. Grace be with you.
–from 2 Timothy 4