I am a big fan of mystery books and shows, including “who-dun-it,” crime sorts of dramas. When the characters go undercover, it seems like an adventure into the unknown. Yet they must do amazing work to keep their true identity hidden.
I feel like Hushai is having to do this very careful “acting out” so as to keep his true allegiance a secret. His job initially is to gain the trust of Absalom. It seems that Absalom has a hard time, at least at first, accepting that Hushai has defected, much like David’s trusted advisor Ahithophel already has.
Saul just lost another of his children to the David camp (so to speak)! What do we make of Saul’s obsession? Can you in any way relate to how preoccupied Saul is with planning for David’s demise? I love to plan things as much as the next guy, but usually for things that benefit others or are for enjoyment of some kind. I can go overboard sometimes in the planning. I get being OVERLY focused on something.
This tormenting spirit hounding Saul isn’t helping. I’ve been thinking about how God is either sending this spirit, because verse 10 refers to “a tormenting spirit from God,” or God is allowing the spirit to create chaos within Saul. Once a respected king, Saul is becoming a bit of a spectacle.
The story really has a happy ending for everyone. Joshua has his work cut out for him in his conquests of the land. From the sounds of it, his neighbors are less than thrilled to have the Israelites in their midst. “These kings combined their armies to fight as one against Joshua and the Israelites.”
But before Joshua has to contend with them, the Gibeonites showed up seeking mercy. They certainly didn’t come right out and ask. They feared the Lord and felt like they had to hide their intentions in deception. I have to admit that had they waltzed into Joshua’s presence with a plea of safety, they would probably have been laughed at! Joshua knew what his role was, and befriending close neighbors was not part of it.
There are a couple of background details I’d like to share from a commentary I was reading on the Book of Matthew. Suffice it to say that the Pharisees and Sadducees were not in the same camp when it came to religion. There were significant differences between the two, and bringing them together doesn’t necessarily mean they are on the same page. But they both seem intent on discrediting Jesus.
While it is in the law to question a prophet to make sure they are “real” and trustworthy, the way these folks went about it overstepped the boundaries of the law. To question Jesus is one thing, but to ask for a sign from Heaven thus includes God the Father. That is not what the law suggests. At all. You may recall some scribes of the Pharisees came to Jesus several passages ago, and Jesus dismissed them, too.