Wednesday, July 14, 2021

2021.07.14 Hopewell @Home ▫ 2 Samuel 17:15–29

Read 2 Samuel 17:15–29

Questions from the Scripture text: Who speaks to whom in 2 Samuel 17:15 (cf. 2 Samuel 16:35–36)? What two groups’ advice does he tell about? Who else’s advice does he tell about? What does he send to tell David to do (2 Samuel 17:16)? What does this imply about whose advice Hushai thinks will prevail? Whose location does 2 Samuel 17:17 give? Why (cf. 2 Samuel 16:35–36)? What communication setup did they have in place? But what had just happened to them now (2 Samuel 17:18)? So where were they now? Where did they hide? What does the woman do (2 Samuel 17:19)? Who come in 2 Samuel 17:20? What do they ask? What might they suspect? What does she say about their location in relation to the water reservoir (more literally translated)? What then do Absalom’s men do? When Absalom’s men are gone, what do Jonathan and Ahimaaz do (themselves, this time, 2 Samuel 17:21)? What is David called here (2 Samuel 17:172 Samuel 17:21, cf. 2 Samuel 16:18)? How does he respond to the news (2 Samuel 17:22)? What does Ahithophel see (2 Samuel 17:23)? What does he do? Where does David go in 2 Samuel 17:24? What does Absalom finally do? Who is with him? Whom does he make general (2 Samuel 17:25)? From whose family (cf. 1 Chronicles 2:13–17)? Where was Absalom’s camp (2 Samuel 17:26)? What three men, from what three places, come to David’s camp at Mahanaim (2 Samuel 17:27)? What do they bring for rest (2 Samuel 17:28)? For refreshment? For nourishment (2 Samuel 17:28-29)? What thought had led them to do this?

The Spirit has already given us a determining factor behind the events that are occurring in the next chapter and a half or so. Yahweh is defeating the “good” (effective) of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster upon Absalom. So the outcome of these events is already decided. Yahweh is making display of Himself and His ways to us, for whom the outcome of the events of our life is already decided (cf. John 6:40, John 6:54; Romans 8:28, Romans 8:32, Romans 8:39).

What is God’s providence like, between now and the already-determined outcome?

Sometimes, God’s providence is very exciting, 2 Samuel 17:15-22. Hushai doesn’t even know that his advice has won the day, but he sends a message in 2 Samuel 17:15 that we have good reason to expect will arrive (as it does, in 2 Samuel 17:21) and be followed (2 Samuel 17:22). However, there is intrigue and the testing of faith along the way. At one point, a bunch of the story is stacked up on top of itself. There’s water in a well, and two priests’ sons on top of the water, and a lid on top of the sons, and camouflage on top of the lid, and the servant girl who usually carried the message on top of the lid—telling Absalom’s servants that the sons are on top of the water (that they themselves don’t know is there, and assume is a brook, as our translation also assumes (2 Samuel 17:20).

Sometimes, God’s providence gives us sad warnings, as in 2 Samuel 17:23. The greatest analytical ability in the world can tell you that you are in deep earthly trouble, but it cannot solve the much more important eternal question of what will come of you when you die. Ahithophel can see exactly how things are going to fall out in this life, so he makes his arrangements and takes matters into his own hands, as he was accustomed to doing.

Ahithophel had worked hard to push down on the truth about the wrath and reality of God (cf. Romans 1:18–19). All of the other accurate calculations of his life are obliterated by this one, great miscalculation. As soon as he had taken his life, he discovered what a great miscalculation this was. Whatever else we know, whatever other skill we have, there is nothing more important than to live before the face of God, trusting in His love and righteousness for us in Jesus.

Sometimes, God’s providence is surprisingly restful and refreshing, as in 2 Samuel 17:24-29. Absalom has a strong position in Gilead (2 Samuel 17:26), and all Israel with him, and a captain of the army from David’s own family (2 Samuel 17:25). But David has Yahweh Himself, Who can put it into the hearts of servants from all over (2 Samuel 17:27) to bring supplies for good sleep, and washing up (2 Samuel 17:28), and rich feasts (2 Samuel 17:28-29). Even in the wilderness and on the run, the Lord provides for His servant in such a way as to remind him—and us!—that He has literally all the resources in creation and more for taking care of us.

In what difficult situation do you find yourself? How is confidence in His perfect providence helping you walk through it worshipfully and obediently? What does “worshipful and obedient” look like in this case?

Suggested songs: ARP46 “God Is Our Refuge” or TPH256 “God Moves in a Mysterious Way”

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