2 Samuel 17 Commentary

Second Samuel 17 Commentary


“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20 verse 12. Yesterday we saw Absalom publicly dishonor his father. Today we see two wise men help Absalom with plans to terminate David’s life. We don’t need any reminding that Absalom is David’s third-born son. David’s tender heart doesn’t deserve this, but that is the least of our concerns here. There is a higher throne, bigger than the one Absalom is seeking, that has taken note of this kind of wickedness.

Two men step forward to provide guidance to Absalom. Ahithophel is an interesting character. His advice is rejected but it is the right military strategy. Yesterday we learned that both David and Absalom regarded Ahithophel’s advice as ‘the very words of God’. This is a problem. David spoiled Ahithophel. He probably got to a point where he felt no one could possibly say no to his counsel. When it happens, he is so devastated that he kills himself.

Yesterday he counseled Absalom to sleep with his father’s wives and today he has provided the right military strategy to terminate David’s life. Both pieces of counsel are very ungodly. This is the man who was regarded very highly by David. It is so strange that the entire nation is so engrossed in the politics of the throne that no one stops to ask if at all what was being done met the standards of the law. The world is not short of genuine men of God who can provide counsel, but who looks at them?

Regardless of his intelligence, Ahithophel is just another Sangoma, a witch doctor. Such is the wisdom of man without God. Never mind their education or reputation.

Stop briefly and look back. In the initial stages, we saw David consult the LORD regularly. Now that David is on the throne, his trips to the throne room have been reduced. Instead, we have Ahithophel in the picture. We fear for David. Well, we should also fear for Israel who thinks Absalom can rule them. A man who treats his own father this way can never have time for anyone else. Shouldn’t this be simple wisdom?

In the midst of trouble are moments of relief for the saint. These are not random moments of lucky but divine relief times. So we see Barzillai and Makir show up to provide supplies for the fleeing King. The saint is encouraged to look around them and spot these refuge chambers in their lives. They are provided by the LORD for relief.

More resources visit http://www.lovingscripture.com

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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