It may be that the Lord will look on mine affliction, and that the Lord will requite me good for his cursing this day. — 2 Samuel 16:12
A few days ago I visited with the skipper of a commercial fishing vessel, who is a Christian. Two of his brothers are on his crew. For a whole week their vessel had been equipped for them to go crabbing, but the strong winds prevented them from going the necessary one hundred miles offshore. With other vessels getting abundant catches of mackerel, they decided to remove the crabbing gear from the vessel and replace it with mackerel gear.
Finally, they were ready to go. As they set out, the skipper noticed a light that needed fixing. While attempting to remove the corroded screw, the screwdriver slipped and cut his thumb. He went to get a band-aid, and his brother picked up the screwdriver and attempted to remove the screw. The screwdriver slipped again, and this time went through the palm of the brother’s hand. They had to return to the harbor so his brother could be taken to the hospital to have the wound treated.
Two hours later, they were ready to go fishing once more! After they had been out an hour or so, the skipper received a call saying that another one of his brothers (not a crew member) had died suddenly of a heart attack. Once again, they returned to the harbor with no catch. What a chain of unfortunate events! Yet, it seemed clear to me that as the skipper talked, he had a strong hope that God would help and provide.
In today’s text, King David seemed to be comforting himself with the hope that God would bring good to him out of his current situation, to balance the trouble he was encountering. He knew that God had allowed these circumstances. So with humility and resignation, David accepted them as reproof from the Lord.
Adversity comes to those who love and serve God as well as to those who do not. However, the children of God know that He allows everything that happens to them for some purpose. Many times God permits difficulties to come our way to try us or bring us closer to Him. Sometimes, God allows tribulations as a form of chastisement. When we face trials, we need to hold fast to God’s Word and His promises. He will not fail us, just as He did not fail David.
With fair words and flatteries, Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel, thus causing his God-chosen and divinely anointed father, David, to flee from Jerusalem. While fleeing eastward, David and his followers were met on the Mount of Olives by Ziba, the head servant of Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan. Ziba made David a handsome present of provisions, which would do him some good in his present distress.
In his flight, David came to Bahurim. This place lay north of Jerusalem, in the tribe of Benjamin. The name Bahurim means “young men.” This is where Shimei, of the house of Saul, lived. Shimei cursed David and cast stones at his company, unjustly charging David with the blood of the house of Saul. The warriors who were with David would soon have put an end to him, but David restrained them. David considered all this as being permitted by God for his chastisement and humiliation.
With David fleeing from Jerusalem, Absalom took possession of the throne. Hushai greeted him there, and complimented him about his accession to the throne, as if he was satisfied with Absalom being king. However Hushai would not counsel him wisely, because Hushai was a friend of David.
Absalom’s most trusted counselor, Ahithophel, advised his leader to make a bold statement of his break with David by taking the ten concubines that David had left in Jerusalem onto the roof of the royal palace and publicly sleeping with each of them. Absalom complied with this counsel. It entirely suited his lewd and wicked mind, and he did not delay to put it into execution. This was a capital crime under the Law (Leviticus 20:11).
The wives of the conquered king were the property of the conqueror. By taking possession of them, he appeared to possess the right to the kingdom. But for a son to take his father’s wives was an abomination and he was subject to death under God’s Law.
Some think that Ahithophel gave the advice as revenge against David for the injury done to Bathsheba, who was his granddaughter. Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam (chapter 11:3), who was the son of Ahithophel (chapter 23:34).
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
II. The shame of King David
B. David’s problems with his family
2. Absalom’s revolt against David
b. David’s flight from Absalom
(5) David’s belief of Ziba’s report (16:1-4)
(6) David’s wise dealings with Shimei (16:5-14)
c. Absalom’s control of Jerusalem (16:15-23)
(1) Hushai’s pseudo-allegiance to Absalom (16:15-19)
(2) Absalom’s violation of David’s harem (16:20-23)
When trials come your way, look to God. Remember that He cares about you and will bring you through.