Today’s readings are 2 Samuel 16-18
WHEW! Action packed day in the Word!
We begin with a lie and betrayal pretty early on in our reading today. Ziba lied and we’ll see that in the next few chapters so stick that in your back pocket for now. It is a shame that David so quickly believed her but this was a time of great tumult in his life, with many betrayals, so I think it is important to understand his mindset.
Later on in 16 we see David being insulted and attacked but allowing it. We can get further insight into the insults they were shouting at him by reading Psalm 3, which scholars believe to have been written by David during his time of fleeing from Absalom. You might want to read the entire thing but I want to break down part of it.
Psalm 3:1-2 says
Lord, how many are my foes!
Many are rising against me;
many are saying of my soul,
“There is no salvation for him in God.”
Interesting facts about this Psalm:
- -The original Hebrew word used for salvation in this passage (Psalm 3:2) is Yeshua, which means salvation. “There is no yeshua for him in YHWH”
- -Yeshua is the name Jesus would have heard in His time here on earth, what His mama would have called him. Jesus is a Greek translation of His name. Christ is a Greek term that means anointed. It wasn’t Jesus’s last name and He would have never even heard it spoken in His lifetime, just like with the name Jesus. I’m not saying it’s bad to use that name for Him, just adding to your arsenal of facts.
- -So now you know that Jesus’s name, Yeshua, means salvation.
- -Now if you read the verse in Matthew and Luke that says “You shall name Him Jesus because he will save us.” With his Hebrew name meaning in there, it reads
“You shall name Him Salvation, because He will save us.” Makes a lot more sense, doesn’t it?
Note: Yeshua is a shortened version of His name. Kind of like Johnathan to John. His full name, Yehoshua, means YHWH Saves. AND HE SURE DOES!
Fair warning: These names were not originally written in English, but Hebrew. Therefore, in order for us to write them we have to take the most similar letter in the English alphabet and use it to represent the letter in the Hebrew alphabet, this is called transliteration and it is the reason why you may see some Hebrew words spelled multiple ways – because there is no right way to spell them in English. I’m just preparing you because whenever you try to line your life up with YHWH, you will offend someone. I have come across more than my fair share of folks who are offended at how I spell YHWH and Yeshua because they feel they should be spelled differently. My response? Love, kindness, and my Book open, my eyes on Him.
When Absalom took David’s concubines up on the roof, he was actually fulfilling a prophecy that Nathan spoke to David in 2 Samuel 12:11-12. Again, we may be forgiven for our sins, but we are not free from the consequences.
Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”2 Samuel 12:11-12
2 Samuel 16:23 broke my heart.
23 Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.
It doesn’t say that Ahithophel’s counsel is from YHWH or that he consulted YHWH, just that consulting with him was considered as good as consulting with YHWH. And this was esteemed by not only Absalom, but David as well.
I don’t know about y’all but when it comes to advice, guidance, counsel, and general rules of how to live my life, I’d rather have first hand Word of YHWH rather than “it’s just as good as God!”
Nothing is “as good as” YHWH and there is no such thing as a secondhand relationship with the Father.
I recall that verse where Messiah says that in the last days many will call out to him “Lord! Lord” but He will say, “depart from me. I never knew you.”
Which prompts us to ask a very serious question.
We may know Him, but does He know us?
2 Samuel 17:4 4 And the advice seemed right in the eyes of Absalom and all the elders of Israel.
Whether or not something is right in the eyes of YHWH isn’t even on their radar.
David at the gates
This is heart wrenching. David, waiting at the gate as his men go out, making sure that they all hear his plea to deal kindly with his son. It is so heartbreaking to imagine this scene, and I’ve seen it play out in today’s world on many occasions.
A child betrays, lives a life that wreaks havoc and destruction to the rest of the family, yet the parent can’t bear to discipline them and still earnestly hopes for a reconciliation of sorts. It is when we behave in ways that the world teaches us to parent that scenes like this take place and tragedies like this unfold -when we do what is right in our own eyes and follow our heart – which the Word tells us is deceitful above all things (remember that next time someone asks you what your heart is telling you.)
If only David had of relied on and had faith in God’s wisdom when it came to his children, early on, that wisdom would be bearing bountiful fruit at this point in their lives.
The death of Absalom – Many people have heard stories of Absalom’s hair getting caught in the branches. I’ve even seen illustrations depicting his death show this.
However, if y’all notice in the text, there is no mention of his hair at all. This is a biblical fable, a story made up loosely based on the Bible that adds to the word, which we have been told, and believed to be true, but once we read the Bible for ourselves we see that it is not.
At this point, we’ve checked quite a few of those off our list and if we were playing Biblical bingo we’d no doubt have several folks with their cards completely full.
It is of the UTMOST importance that we search Scriptures to see if what we have been told is there is actually there. We cannot rely on inherited knowledge of the Bible, we must have it firsthand. The same goes for a relationship with the Father.
There is no such thing as a second hand relationship with God.
And this reading ends on a note that breaks my heart for so many reasons. Another tragic reminder of the consequences of our choices.
David crying out over the death of his son: “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
YHWH’s Word is clear, concise, repetitive, and meant for us.
May we heed His wisdom in every facet of our lives.
Postscript: we are almost done with all these “A” names. I know it’s a struggle!
Test everything, hold tight to what is good.~ 1 Thess 5:21
We are saved by Grace alone: Obedience is not the root of our salvation, it is the fruit!