Reading through the Bible together
As David came to the top of the mountain, Ziba, the servant of King Saul’s son Mephiboseth, came to David. He announced that Mephiboseth stayed in Jerusalem saying that the situation will favor him and Israel will restore to him all that belonged to the house of Saul. For selfish reasons Mephiboseth wanted to stay in Jerusalem (v. 3). Ziba brought saddled donkeys with him filled with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 summer fruits and a jug of wine as medicine. The wine (grapejuice, grape souce, or grape jam) was for “whoever is faint in the wilderness to drink” (v. 2).
At another town, Bahurim, Shimei cursed David and said that the Lord is punishing him for the blood he shed of the house of Saul (v. 8). One of David’s men, Abishai wanted to kill Shimei for dishonoring the king, but David answered him not to do so since the Lord may have put the words in his mouth and if he goes against the man, he will go against the Lord. It is the biblical principle that one must always thank the Lord through good and bad times. Count it a blessing when you are persecuted for the sake of the Lord, Paul said in the New Testament and an echo of what Jesus said and what David said to Abishai (vv. 11,12).
The scribe of this chapter then wrote about the arrival of Absalom in Jerusalem about the same time. Ahithophel came with him and Hushai came to pay his respects to him. Hushai stressed the principle that whoever the Lord appoints as leader of a country, that leader should be served (v. 18). The scribe ended the chapter with the material on Ahithophel. The perceived image that Ahithophel was able to portray in the higher circles over the years, is the impression that both Absalom and David had, namely whatever Ahithophel said, the words was as if the Lord said it (v. 23). Ahithophel always looked pastoral, sounded pastoral, acted pastoral, and was able to convince those around him of his pastoral professionalism, at least on a human level.
The scribe of the history and the Holy Spirit had a different view. Absalom asked Ahithophel’s advise on what his next steps should be in Jerusalem and Ahithophel gave him some very wicked advice. He was to pitch a tent on the roof of the palace of his father and go “in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.” This pornographical advice of this so-called pastor to his leader Absalom, could not have come from the Lord. The Lord does not associate with perversion or perverted people.
Also we, o Lord, are living in a sick society with the same perversions dressed up as normal behavior. Help us to run away from temptation like Joseph of old, to accept the hardships and curses that people throw at us with the same attitude that David did, and to accept leaders over us appointed by You. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
Koot van Wyk
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea