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Daily Devotionals

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Betty Elliott
A Faithful Spiritual guide. Always there to help others before oneself. Remarkable!Faithful Christian

Painful Consequences


Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 15:1-18


1 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. 2 He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.” 4 And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”


5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel.


7 At the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the Lord. 8 While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: ‘If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron.’”


9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron.


10 Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’” 11 Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.


13 A messenger came and told David, “The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.”


14 Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us and put the city to the sword.”


15 The king’s officials answered him, “Your servants are ready to do whatever our lord the king chooses.”


16 The king set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at the edge of the city. 18 All his men marched past him, along with all the Kerethites and Pelethites; and all the six hundred Gittites who had accompanied him from Gath marched before the king.


“Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin on us. . . .”

2 Samuel 15:14


After David had been king for many years, one of his sons, Absalom, tried to take over. Absalom declared himself king and built up a following.


David had committed some terrible sins while he was king. For example, he took another man’s wife, Bathsheba, and had her husband killed. And although God forgave David when he repented, not everyone forgot what David had done (2 Samuel 11-12).


David had also been a terrible father. Because he had several wives, some of his children were half-brothers and half-sisters. One day David’s son Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar, the full sister of Absalom. David was furious but did nothing about it. Then, awhile later, Absalom killed Amnon and ran away (2 Samuel 13).


Now Absalom was staging a coup—and one of David’s ­trusted advisers, Ahithophel, had joined Absalom. Why? It seems that Ahithophel may have been Bathsheba’s grandfather (see 2 Samuel 11:3; 23:34). If that was the case, could Ahithophel easily forget what David had done to his granddaughter?


David learned many lessons from the deeds he had done. The consequences of wrongdoing can be painful, on all sides. But instead of making things worse, we can turn to God and ask for forgiveness, and we can work to forgive as the Lord forgives us.


Lord and God, forgive us our many sins. Help us to do right and to forgive others, just as you have forgiven us. In Jesus name, Amen.

J

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