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January 14, 2022

As King David prepares for battle, he assesses the people, divides them into three groups, and places Joab, Abishai, and Ittai as captains over them. Usually, King David went to the battle with his troops; however, knowing Absalom’s main goal was to kill his father, the people advised him to stay behind, to which he acquiesced and stayed at his dwelling. As the army departed, all the people heard King David say to his captains Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. “

In the woods of Ephraim, the battle spread out on the countryside, and between King David’s army and the dense forest, twenty thousand men of the opposing army were slain. Unfortunately for him, while riding on his mule and passing under an oak tree, Absalom’s hair got caught in the branches, and he was suspended in the air as his mule moved on. This was seen by someone who told Joab. Joab responded, “And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle.” The man replied, “Though I should receive a thousand shekels of silver in mine hand, yet would I not put forth mine hand against the king’s son: for in our hearing the king charged thee and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Beware that none touch the young man Absalom. Otherwise I should have wrought falsehood against mine own life: for there is no matter hid from the king, and thou thyself wouldest have set thyself against me.”

Not lingering in conversation, Joab departed from the man, found Absalom, and thrust three darts through Absalom’s heart. Ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, stabbed him with their swords, then cast his body in a pit, and covered it with a heap of stones. Accomplishing his plan of killing and burying Absalom, Joab blew the trumpet, which stopped the king’s army from fighting and pursuing their opponents, allowing the surviving opponents to return to their abode.

Ahimaaz, the son of Zadok, who was at the battle, requested permission from Joab to go to the king with the news of the battle, but Joab stopped him. Zadok kept asking to go, and finally, Joab granted his request. Meanwhile, Joab had dispatched a Cushite to the king with the battle news. Ahimaaz arrived first, but he could not give King David any specifics about the battle. When the Cushite came, he told the king, “The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is.” This news devastated the king, and he went into his chambers crying and saying, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” So, chapter 18 shared the demise of Absalom and ended with the despair of King David over the death of another son whom he loved.

Also, revealed in this chapter, Absalom had three sons who commentaries believed died in infancy; therefore, he built a monument in Jerusalem to preserve his name and for his burial. Nevertheless, all of his planning was for naught with his unexpected dishonorable death.

For the last time in this series, I once again suggest for more details, read chapter 18. Now here are the final spiritual nuggets that I obtained from this chapter:

A good leader knows their responsibility.

God does not need a large army to be victorious.

There are people around you that know your worth.

Some will esteem you higher than themselves.

True friends will protect you from danger.

As a leader, it is good to accept the wise counsel of others.

Be willing to forgive the treachery of your enemy.

Parents’ warm feelings for their children are sometimes not reciprocated.

Negligent parents often turn a blind eye toward their children’s negative behavior.

Those who respect authority will follow instructions.

Disregarding the plan of God can be fatal.

Be careful that the object you prize does not cause your death.

Not honoring your parents can cause your life to be shortened.

Honor and respect are not given to the wicked.

Having no sympathy for your plight will cause people to act negatively toward you.

People that have their own agenda will disregard the words of the leader.

Some acts are done for the kingdom and not the king.

When you refuse to punish your children for wrong behavior, others will willingly do it for you.

Despite how bad a child may be, their parents still love them.

A loving father can overlook the treasonous behavior of their child.

Good news to some is bad news to others

God forgave King David for the sins he committed over Bathsheba; however, God also judged him. David had to reap the consequences of what he sowed, and it played out in his family. God used King David’s negligence in disciplining his sons as a method to chastise him. Up to 2 Samuel 18, three of his sons had died, and the last son to die caused not only King David problems but brought internal strife to the nation with a war. The outcome of sinful acts can result in generational disaster.

Finally, I close this Absalom series with this one thought. A person with the Spirit of Absalom will plot to overthrow leadership, but, in the end, it brings about their own destruction.


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