The Shepherd King – #33 January 31, 2017

2 Samuel 17

Not even when he was running from King Saul had David been in as much danger as he is now.  Absalom, his son, has turned the hearts of the Israelites toward himself and away from his father.  Absalom seized his father’s throne and drove him into exile.  How did David handle such betrayal?

He did not complain for David understood a principle that we often forget.  He actually wrote it in one of his psalms.  David knew:  I will bless the Lord at ALL times; His praise shall CONTINUALLY be in my mouth.  These were not just words to King David; they were life.  He was all too aware of his sins and accepted that this painful situation was discipline from the Lord.

Just when he thought it couldn’t get worse, it did.  Now David had been told, ‘Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.  2 Sam. 15:31  This really hurt.  Ahithophel had been one of David’s closest friends and a trusted advisor.  In fact, we read in 2 Samuel 16: 23:  In those days the advice Ahithophel gave was like that of one who enquires of God.  That was how DAvid and Absalom regarded all of Ahithophel’s advice.  David had to be utterly devastated at Ahithophel’s betrayal.  Was he thinking of him when he wrote Psalm 55?

If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it;  if a foe were raising himself against me, I could hide from him.  But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship as we walked with the throng at the house of God.  Psalm 55: 12-14

With such great sorrow and pain in his heart, what did David do?

He accepted that he could not save himself.  Any hope he might have of being restored to the throne rested in the sovereign mercy of God. King David put his future in God’s hands entirely.

When times are tough and situations are grievous, to believe that God will turn things around for you puts a demand on your faith.  Do you trust Him?  Even now?

Furthermore, when the king reached the summit of the Mount of Olives, he was pleasantly surprised to find Hushai there waiting for him. When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head. 2 Samuel 15:32

It had to have given David a measure of joy that Hushai had not betrayed him. Though he had other people around him, the sight of a good friend who had remained true to him had to encourage him and lift his spirits.

A true friend has been described as someone who knows all about you and still loves you.  A true friend will stand by you when you seem to have no future and nothing to offer them in return for their loyalty.  Hushai was that true friend.  He arrived with a torn robe and ashes on his head just when David seemed finished.  He was not embarrassed to show his own grief, to share David’s pain and let everyone else know where his loyalty lay.  Hushai was the answer to David’s prayers.

David said to him, ‘If you go with me, you will be a burden to me.  But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O King.  I was your father’s servant in the past but now I will be your servant., then you can help me by frustrating Ahithophel’s advice.  Wont’ the priests Zadok and Abiathar be there with you?  Tell them anything you hear in the king’s palace.  Their two sons, Ahimaaz, son of Zadok and Jonathan, son of Abiathar, are there with them.  Send them to me with anything you hear.’  So David’s friend Hushai arrived at Jerusalem as Absalom was entering the city.  2Sam. 15:33-37

Being a double agent is a dangerous business!  By asking Hushai to risk his life for him, David shows us how deep the friendship was.  Only a very special friend would risk his own life for you.

So Hushai went to Jerusalem, laid his life on the line and the result was that the tide began to turn.

How do you know if the tide is turning in your situation?

When you know that there is nothing you can do but pray, the tide is turning.

When you realize that the answer to your prayer is staring you in the face, the tide is turning.

When you commit your future into God’s hands, you discover that He steps in to deal with obstacles in your path.

How can you be sure of that?  How did David know that?

FAITH – the absolutel, uncompromising trust in the love and goodness of your Heavenly Father who has promised that He will never abandon us nor forsake us.

Application:

The tide did turn for David and we’ll see more of that in the next lesson.  Be encouraged with David’s example if the tide needs to turn for you.  Commit your future into God’s hands, the most secure place it can ever be.  He will not fail you!

 

 

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