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May 31, 2019

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
Christian Standard Bible for 2019

Text: Esther 6-10
Audio: Esther 6-10

You can use the audio Bible as a guide to help “set the pace” as you read along.

2 Samuel 17 (ESV)

Moreover, Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight. I will come upon him while he is weary and discouraged and throw him into a panic, and all the people who are with him will flee. I will strike down only the king, and I will bring all the people back to you as a bride comes home to her husband. You seek the life of only one man, and all the people will be at peace.” And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel.

Then Absalom said, “Call Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear what he has to say.” And when Hushai came to Absalom, Absalom said to him, “Thus has Ahithophel spoken; shall we do as he says? If not, you speak.” Then Hushai said to Absalom, “This time the counsel that Ahithophel has given is not good.”Hushai said, “You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and that they are enraged, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. Besides, your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place. And as soon as some of the people fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 Then even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men.11 But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person. 12 So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found, and we shall light upon him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him not one will be left. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there.” 14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel.” For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom.

15 Then Hushai said to Zadok and Abiathar the priests, “Thus and so did Ahithophel counsel Absalom and the elders of Israel, and thus and so have I counseled. 16 Now therefore send quickly and tell David, ‘Do not stay tonight at the fords of the wilderness, but by all means pass over, lest the king and all the people who are with him be swallowed up.’” 17 Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En-rogel. A female servant was to go and tell them, and they were to go and tell King David, for they were not to be seen entering the city. 18 But a young man saw them and told Absalom. So both of them went away quickly and came to the house of a man at Bahurim, who had a well in his courtyard. And they went down into it. 19 And the woman took and spread a covering over the well’s mouth and scattered grain on it, and nothing was known of it. 20 When Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house, they said, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” And the woman said to them, “They have gone over the brook of water.” And when they had sought and could not find them, they returned to Jerusalem.

21 After they had gone, the men came up out of the well, and went and told King David. They said to David, “Arise, and go quickly over the water, for thus and so has Ahithophel counseled against you.” 22 Then David arose, and all the people who were with him, and they crossed the Jordan. By daybreak not one was left who had not crossed the Jordan.

23 When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.

24 Then David came to Mahanaim. And Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. 25 Now Absalom had set Amasa over the army instead of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Ishmaelite, who had married Abigal the daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab’s mother. 26 And Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of Gilead.

27 When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi the son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, and Machir the son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim, 28 brought beds, basins, and earthen vessels, wheat, barley, flour, parched grain, beans and lentils, 29 honey and curds and sheep and cheese from the herd, for David and the people with him to eat, for they said, “The people are hungry and weary and thirsty in the wilderness.”

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Next: 2 Samuel 18

Back: 2 Samuel 16

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. The Lord Has Ordained

    With the plan to kill David in place at Ahithophel's council, Absalom asks for the council of Hushai (who David sent back to Jerusalem to pretend to support Absalom while working to frustrate his plans).

    First, Hushai's council is based on fact – David is a man of war. 

    Hushai said, “…your father is expert in war; he will not spend the night with the people. 9 Behold, even now he has hidden himself in one of the pits or in some other place.'" (2 Samuel 17:8b-9a).

    Because Israel knows David is a man of war, Hushai then tells Absalom to use caution

    "And as soon as some of the people fall at the first attack, whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’ 10 Then even the valiant man, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will utterly melt with fear, for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man, and that those who are with him are valiant men" (2 Samuel 17:9b-10).

    Next, Hushai appeals to Absalom's vanity. As Dale Davis writes in his commentary on 2 Samuel, "Ahithophel knew how to be successful against David, but Hushai knew how to be successful with Absalom."

    Hushai said, "But my counsel is that all Israel be gathered to you, from Dan to Beersheba, as the sand by the sea for multitude, and that you go to battle in person" (2 Samuel 17:11).

    And finally, Hushai includes an appeal to vengeance

    Hushai continues, "So we shall come upon him in some place where he is to be found, and we shall light upon him as the dew falls on the ground, and of him and all the men with him not one will be left. 13 If he withdraws into a city, then all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we shall drag it into the valley, until not even a pebble is to be found there" (2 Samuel 17:12-13). 

    While it's clear Hushai's appeals to Absalom worked, the writer makes it clear it was actually God at work in the situation in 2 Samuel 17:14b, "For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom."

    Dale Davis' comments regarding the Lord's sovereignty in this situation is excellent:

    "That is the explanation for the whole story, for all this which has occurred so naturally, so humanly, so freely. Yahweh had ordained it. That may raise some questions for you. But remember: Yahweh’s sovereignty is not meant to give you philosophical problems but spiritual comfort. And the primary characteristic of his sovereignty in this passage is its hiddenness. There are no trumpets, no turmoil, no billboards or bumper stickers. No glitzy, frenetic commercials like car dealers blast out on television. Only this quiet text, this discreet aside. The plot against Yahweh’s king has gone to pot. Why? Yahweh had ordained it.

    "More often than not that is the manner of God’s work. His sceptre is unseen, his sovereignty hidden behind the conversations and decisions and activities and crises of our lives. We see only grocery lines and diaper changes and school assignments; but through and over and behind it all Yahweh rules. He is not absent but neither is he obvious. Sometimes we must be told that lest we become too enamoured with our Hushais."

    Davis, D. R. (2002). 2 Samuel: Out of Every Adversity (pp. 215–216). Great Britain: Christian Focus Publications.

    Amen!

  2. “For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom.” 

    What freedom there is in knowing there is nothing we can do to thwart God’s will!! 

    Through these daily Bible readings and Oswald Chambers devotionals this week, God has been reminding me again and again that all the decisions I and others make, however flawed and tinged with sin and self, are ultimately used by God to fulfill His purposes and plans — and not for my self-serving benefit, but for His glory and the furthering of His kingdom.

    His will for me is to make me more and more like Christ:

    ”But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” Galatians 5:22-24

    David trusted God completely no matter what others were doing.

    And so can I.

    And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30

     

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