Spiritual Warfare – Part 19
If you haven’t yet read Part one of this study, please click here.
2 Samuel Chapter 15
In some Bibles this chapter is entitled “Absalom’s conspiracy” and it brings to light Absalom’s motivation in coming back to Jerusalem: his hatred of his father.
Hatred can be a powerful force for the enemy. It can destroy lives. No wonder the Bible tells us to not let the sun go down on our anger. (Ephesians 4:26)
As you read this chapter ask yourself if there is any unforgiveness in your life that could lead to “unreasonable” behaviour.
The opening words of the chapter suggest that Absalom was in no hurry and had a long term plan.
His plan worked, and in verse 6 we read that “Absalom stole the hearts of the people”.
Where do you suppose David was in all of this?
Why did he not recognise what was happening?
Did he never go to the city gate?
Did he not have his own representatives there?
Was he still praising the Lord and spending much time in the temple as the psalms recount?
Why did the Lord not warn him?
David finally got his warning in verse 13, but then it was too late, and he was obliged to flee.
In verse 16 we read that all his household left Jerusalem, but he left 10 concubines in charge of the palace!! In our 21st century way of thinking, that seems a strange thing to do. Why do you suppose the Bible tells us that?
What does it mean in modern day terms?
The story continues with the encouragement of many who followed David, and also of his taking with him the Ark of the covenant which was where the Lord lived. (In the days before Jesus and Pentecost, people went to the temple to pray, and they believed the presence of God was limited to the Ark of the Covenant.)
But as they left the city, David changed his mind, and sent the priests and the Ark back into town. He continued weeping as he walked up the mount of Olives (verse 30). That verse makes us think of Jesus who, centuries later would climb the same hill with a very heavy heart.
Verse 32 tells us the beginning of David’s idea to stay informed of Absalom’s plans. It seems a bit late in the day for this. Would you have done things differently?
2 Samuel Chapter 16
This chapter begins with 2 interesting stories which both bear more study than we can give them here. In the first, (verses 1-4) Ziba came with offerings and found favour with David.
In the second, (verses 5-14) Shimei came with cursing and was ignored by David.
Was it wise to ignore Shimei?
What would you have done in similar circumstances?
It seems as though David has lost touch with the Lord and has no idea what the outcome of all this will be. He continues on his way ignoring the voice of “the enemy”.
Have you ever had times when you just didn’t know what would happen next? Or what the outcome would be? How difficult was it for you to keep going and ignore the voice of the enemy?
The rest of this chapter and all chapter 17 give details of advice and counter advice worthy of any gripping war story. It is worth studying in detail, and would make a good epic film.
Let’s jump to the results, and the evidence that The Lord was in control.
2 Samuel Chapter 18
Here we read of David’s victory, but not by his own hand. God intervened in favour of His chosen king, the man who is referred to as “a man after God’s heart”. Acts 13:22. What a nice epitaph that would be.
As you reflect on the story of David and Absalom, can you see the enemy at work?
How can what you have read in these chapters encourage you to keep an eye open and learn to identify the enemy before things get into an impossible situation?
The fact that nobody could steal the kingdom from David was a sign that God was with him all the way through, but it didn’t stop the enemy from trying to interfere, from trying to steal from God’s anointed one.
If you are a Bible believing christian, the enemy will try to stop you fulfilling all that God has planned for you, how can you personally prevent his attacks?
How does your church or christian community keep the enemy at bay?
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