2 Samuel 16 - 19
It is tempting to read these lengthy chapters as an amalgamation of various and somewhat unrelated episodes during David’s fleeing from Absalom. But the greater underlying purpose for these stories is to show a progression of David’s restoration as king. While it may seem that David’s kingship is in jeopardy, we are assured throughout this narrative that God is in control and working things for David’s good. Throughout the entire account of Absalom’s attempted coup, never once is he labeled or referred to as “the king” (I would argue that Hushai’s proclamation in 16:16 is masking his true allegiance to David). In fact, every time “the king” is mentioned in these chapters, it is in reference to David. As we glance at these various episodes, let’s briefly explore how each serves the purpose of David’s restoration:
God’s forgiveness and restoration of David was a long and harrowing road. Rather than a blanket, “cheap” grace administered, the LORD had David endure through all of these incidents as a way of sanctifying him. David’s sins were callousing the very heart that was after the LORD’s own. There are very real and grave consequences to sin and expelling God from our lives. Rather than banking on the depth of God’s grace to forgive even the most heinous of acts (Rom. 6:1-2), God shows the detrimental repercussions of self-love throughout the entire narrative of David’s second fleeing. As one scholar comments on this narrative, “Sin is never trivial, and grace is never cheap.” What are the patterns of sin in your own life? How do those patterns give way to damaging effects throughout the other parts of your life? Reflect on the grace of Christ that not only covers those sins, but restores us from its depths to wear his righteousness.
In the midst of David fleeing from Absalom, God provides a table and feast for David in the wilderness (17:27-29). Consider the added depth this context gives to Psalm 23:5.
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
- Rev. Nameun Cho
This blog is part of the ministry of City Reformed Presbyterian Church. Unless otherwise noted, the entries are written by Matt Koerber. This is part of a project that our church is doing as we read through the narrative sections of Scripture between early January and Easter 2020. New entries will be scheduled to drop automatically at 5:00 am on the scheduled day.