Wow! The book of 2nd Samuel keeps the reader intrigued. One plot twist after another baffles the mind and paints further the picture of general LIFE that will be repeated. What lessons might we learn from these Bible times? You might be surprised.
Stacey lastly addressed chapters 12 and 13, @ Scribbles and Sustenance, and Angela last addressed chapters 14 and 15 @ No Longer Lukewarm. I take turns with them, blogging through the Bible, here @ Grandma Mary Martha, @Telling Hearts, if you would like to check more posts out.
Phrophecy comes true
It would appear that the Nathan's prophecy of doom and gloom upon David's house, has begun to come true, when there is all manner of sin and evil in his household, even between his grown children.
At the beginning of chapter 16 David is fleeing from the seat of his royal throne ,his town, due to the unrest brought on my his son Absalom. Quite the shady character, Absalom never-the-less has his good looks in his favor, but furthermore, he has been "politic-ing" on the sly, against his dad, desiring his dad's downfall, and dreaming of the kingship being his.
2 Samuel chapter 16
In this context, a man named Ziba, of some prestige and means, brings a rather generous or lavish gift to David: a string of donkeys, loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 cakes of raisins, and 100 cakes of figs, along with a skin of wine. To support David and his men, this presentation is made, and a blessing given to Ziba (and his family) in return (v.4).
This is a sharp contrast to what happens next!
Opposition is Tolerated and Respected
Shimei is a distant relative of the former king Saul. When David's entourage wanders Shimei's way, he greets David and his men with cursing, and a hail of rocks! With no apparent fear for his life, he dares to follow and torment or scourge with his words, and rocks. One of David's men, Abishai, offers to cut that man's head off, but David calms him (v.10-12) and in v.12, David demonstrates humility and attitude of penance, as well as respect for his opponent (opposing party, Shimei).
2 Samuel 16:12
...Leave him alone; let him curse (me) for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.
In v.15-23 more according to the doom and gloom prophecy of Nathan happens. Absalom reportedly sleeps with his father's concubines in the sight of all of Israel, on the roof of his dad's palace. This according to some ill advice from Ahithophel, who previously had been a respected and sought after advisor!
Downfall of a Great Counselor
Interestingly though Absalom did not seem to hesitate to follow that advice, he sought a second opinion on the war strategy advice from Ahithophel, 2 Samuel 17.
Absalom sought, and followed second opinion, and Ahithophel consequentially hung himself!
Through it all, David is the one who had been annointed by God to be king. He is the one who we see in scriptures, still has a relationship with God, and is in touch with the priests.
David is the humble one, who would not even shut up the slanderer, curser Shimei. He is the one who admits his flaw and sin and is willing to pay penance.
Still on the run, all along, people come to assist and help. In fact at the conclusion of chapter 17, Absalom is still hot on David's trail, but David and his followers are richly provided for with housewares and food that seemed to me to be lavish for that time (wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils, honey, curds, sheep, cheese!!)
Tune in next, for Stacey and Angela to take us through the next chapters! Would you join us, in our goal to read through the Bible in a year? Would you like to join our Blogging Through the Bible rotation of posting as we go? We have been so richly blessed, in our efforts and we know that you would be too be blessed for time in His word.
Take-Aways from 2nd Samuel 16 and 17
1) Humility is a good thing; respecting views of ones opponent, like David towards Shimei.
2) God may appreciate penance on the part of the sinner.
3) God rewards and provides to bring about His will.
4) Put too much self esteem or pride in a position, can be a fatal flaw (what led to Ahithophel's suicide).
Oh Lord, I am sure that I am not superior to David. I want to learn from him. May I, by the leading of your Holy Spirit, be humble in my path, respecting views that oppose my views or even perhaps views against me. Let me look to YOU for everything,more that any singular person, or position, or life-role that I live. When I sin, I pray that I would recognize it, and be willing to do some penance, and then get on with praising YOU, serving YOU, and living in JOY because of your rich provision and your preparations for eternity in paradise. In Jesus's name I pray, AMEN
1) Can you remember a time when there was someone who spoke against you, and humility paid off? You were rewarded in some way for humility, or things got better? Tell about it.
2) What advice would you give to a sister about how to know if humility is appropriate, or righteous indignation (like Jesus when He turned over the money changers tables in the temple)?
3) How do you think David held on to his sanity in the family stress that he lived with in chapter 16 and 17? What seems to be David's foundation, his base, that he always comes back to?
Disclaimer This reading/blogging endeavor that I join Stacey and Angela on is very personal and simple. My first goal is to read the Bible cover to cover. My goal in blogging along the way is to share my thoughts and ideas. I strongly urge you to read the scriptures for yourself. I am not an authority. I am not specially studied on any of Bible, and I do NOT translate in full. Details and perhaps main points are left out of my blog post. I simply write or blog about my thoughts and ideas as I go. Thank you for joining me. We welcome you to travel with us by reading, commenting, or actually joining our blogging through the Bible rotation.
God bless you in the Sonshine,