2 Samuel 15* Absalom's ambition. (1-6) His conspiracy. (7-12) David leavesJerusalem. (13-23) David sends back the ark. (24-30) He praysagainst Ahithophel's counsel. (31-37)1-6 David allows Absalom's pomp. Those parents know not whatthey do, who indulge a proud humour in their children: manyyoung people are ruined by pride. And those commonly are mosteager for authority who least understand its duties. 7-12 See how willing tender parents are to believe the bestconcerning their children. But how easy and how wicked is it,for children to take advantage of good parents, and to deceivethem with the show of religion! The principal men of Jerusalemjoined Absalom's feast upon his sacrifice. Pious persons areglad to see others appear religious, and this gives occasion fordeceptions. The policy of wicked men, and the subtlety of Satan,are exerted to draw good persons to countenance base designs. 13-23 David determined to quit Jerusalem. He took this resolve,as a penitent submitting to the rod. Before unrighteous Absalomhe could justify himself, and stand out; but before therighteous God he must condemn himself, and yield to hisjudgments. Thus he accepts the punishment of his sin. And goodmen, when they themselves suffer, are anxious that others shouldnot be led to suffer with them. He compelled none; those whosehearts were with Absalom, to Absalom let them go, and so shalltheir doom be. Thus Christ enlists none but willing followers.David cannot bear to think that Ittai, a stranger and an exile,a proselyte and a new convert, who ought to be encouraged andmade easy, should meet with hard usage. But such value has Ittaifor David's wisdom and goodness, that he will not leave him. Heis a friend indeed, who loves at all times, and will adhere tous in adversity. Let us cleave to the Son of David, with fullpurpose of heart, and neither life nor death shall separate usfrom his love. 24-30 David is very careful for the safety of the ark. It isright to be more concerned for the church's prosperity than ourown; to prefer the success of the gospel above our own wealth,credit, ease, and safety. Observe with what satisfaction andsubmission David speaks of the Divine disposal. It is ourinterest, as well as our duty, cheerfully to acquiesce in thewill of God, whatever befalls us. Let us see God's hand in allevents; and that we may not be afraid of what shall be, let ussee all events in God's hand. David's sin was ever before him,#Ps 51:3|; but never so plain, nor ever appearing so black asnow. He never wept thus when Saul hunted him, but a woundedconscience makes troubles lie heavy, #Ps 38:4|. 31-37 David prays not against Ahithophel's person, but againsthis counsel. He prayed this, in firm belief that God has allhearts in his hand, and tongues also. But we must second ourprayers with endeavours, and David did so, else we tempt God.But we do not find wisdom and simplicity so united in any mereman, that we can perceive nothing which needs forgiveness. Yet,when the Son of David was treated with all possible treacheryand cruelty, his wisdom, meekness, candour, and patience, wereperfect. Him let us follow, cleave to, and serve, in life and indeath.
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