Archive for September 1st, 2012

2 Samuel 18

2 Samuel 18 has David preparing his men to face the army of Absalom his son who was determined to remove him from the throne and take his power and kingdom.  David leads well and appoints his army into groups of thousands and hundreds and appoints men to lead them in these groups.  But in addition to splitting his men into manageable groups that could be led by many commanders, he also split up the overall leadership of his army into three groups.

This is brilliant strategy.  In fact, this decision would prove to be a key in the victory that would come as these three were able to lead their part of the troops effectively and independently of each other.  David appointed “one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai….and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite”.  Three great leaders, each of whom took a third of the troops and led them to victory on the battlefield.

David planned to go along with the troops into battle.  “I myself will also go out with you”.  But wiser minds took control and said “You shall not go out….it is better that you send us help from the city.”  It was suicide to have the king out there in the middle of tens of thousands of soldiers.  They would target him and find a way to kill him.  David doesn’t argue but listens to those he had put in authority.  Another wise decision by the king when he says: “Whatever seems best to you I will do”.  He listens and does as asked.

David had asked that his son Absalom be spared, but when Absalom has an issue with an oak tree capturing him as his mule went under the tree and caught him, and word gets to Joab, he is immediately killed.  There was no way they were letting this guy be spared after causing war to try and take the throne from David.  News comes back to the king, and he “was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept”.  Even thought Absalom was trying to kill him, King David still loved his son and mourned his death.  In fact, he goes so far as to say “Would I had died instead of you”.  Pretty strong words from a man whose life was being threatened.  But a father’s love is so strong – and David shows just how much he loved his son – even if he was a bad boy!

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