The contrast could not be clearer between the plans given to Absalom by his two advisors. The quick and simple plan of Ahithophel is probably the best plan for Absalom’s victory. While the plan outlined by David’s true ally, Hushai, over complicates the situation. Hushai is a master of double talk and makes the case for his own plan to be better than Ahithophel’s. Better for David to be sure.
Any time we find ourselves in the planning phase of any project, there are bound to be differences of opinions between leadership. How do you pick the best plan? Seeking guidance through prayer is my first go-to. But it hasn’t always been that way. For many years, I relied on my own ideas.
Think of the restraint! David has opportunity again to take Saul out of the picture once and for all. And again, David lets Saul, God’s anointed king, live. This is a beautiful picture of trusting God, wouldn’t you agree?
David even had to control his man, Abishai, from taking this golden opportunity. It was a teachable moment to show Abishai the importance and respect that God’s anointed one should receive. Despite Saul’s evil intention to kill David, David gives mercy once more. David affirmed his trust in God, “Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle.”
We’re all on a God assignment – to seek and serve the lost. The assignment we see today looks a lot more focused in on God’s agenda for the kingship. You’ll recall the people had rejected God’s rule for that of a human king, like their neighbors had. It appears God didn’t want to allow that job to fall to just “anybody.”
Meet Saul. The most handsome man in Israel. As we begin this reading, it isn’t completely clear why we are hearing about an influential man’s son being sent out to find some wayward donkeys. Looking back, we can see that God was orchestrating Saul’s meeting with Samuel. How do you think God may be at work in you at this moment?
I couldn’t believe what I read in this text. I thought about splitting up the chapter, but having read the whole thing today knew I wouldn’t want to put off writing about this for one minute.
I know there are texts that are awesome and amazing to write about. I’ve found them on my journey through the Bible with you. It doesn’t matter whether it’s Old Testament or New Testament, there are gems galore. This is not a gem today. In fact, this is the UGLIEST rock I’ve ever seen (if we stay with that analogy.) So what did you think of this?
Today we learn the rinse and repeat cycle God will use to get the Israelite’s attention. There are four parts to this cycle. #1 – People go astray. #2 God turns them over to their enemies. #3 The people cry out to God. #4 God sends his rescue. God didn’t intend to leave his people abandoned. He will continue to send helpers to get them on track. From the sounds of it, his plan worked temporarily but didn’t sustain itself very well.
It’s interesting to note how the Israelites would always revert back to the other gods when left without a leader. It’s easy for us to make judgments on their behavior. Think of what a toddler can accomplish in just minutes when a parent is looking the other way. Or, the chaos of a classroom when the students are left to fend for themselves if the teacher leaves the room. We are curious by nature, always testing the limit. Does this help explain what is happening here and why the Israelites can’t keep their focus on God?