2 Samuel 15

* Absalom's ambition. (1-6) His conspiracy. (7-12) David leaves

Jerusalem. (13-23) David sends back the ark. (24-30) He prays

against Ahithophel's counsel. (31-37)

1-6 David allows Absalom's pomp. Those parents know not what

they do, who indulge a proud humour in their children: many

young people are ruined by pride. And those commonly are most

eager for authority who least understand its duties.
7-12 See how willing tender parents are to believe the best

concerning their children. But how easy and how wicked is it,

for children to take advantage of good parents, and to deceive

them with the show of religion! The principal men of Jerusalem

joined Absalom's feast upon his sacrifice. Pious persons are

glad to see others appear religious, and this gives occasion for

deceptions. 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 Absalom

he could justify himself, and stand out; but before the

righteous God he must condemn himself, and yield to his

judgments. Thus he accepts the punishment of his sin. And good

men, when they themselves suffer, are anxious that others should

not be led to suffer with them. He compelled none; those whose

hearts were with Absalom, to Absalom let them go, and so shall

their 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 and

made easy, should meet with hard usage. But such value has Ittai

for David's wisdom and goodness, that he will not leave him. He

is a friend indeed, who loves at all times, and will adhere to

us in adversity. Let us cleave to the Son of David, with full

purpose of heart, and neither life nor death shall separate us

from his love.
24-30 David is very careful for the safety of the ark. It is

right to be more concerned for the church's prosperity than our

own; to prefer the success of the gospel above our own wealth,

credit, ease, and safety. Observe with what satisfaction and

submission David speaks of the Divine disposal. It is our

interest, as well as our duty, cheerfully to acquiesce in the

will of God, whatever befalls us. Let us see God's hand in all

events; and that we may not be afraid of what shall be, let us

see 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 as

now. He never wept thus when Saul hunted him, but a wounded

conscience makes troubles lie heavy, #Ps 38:4|.
31-37 David prays not against Ahithophel's person, but against

his counsel. He prayed this, in firm belief that God has all

hearts in his hand, and tongues also. But we must second our

prayers with endeavours, and David did so, else we tempt God.

But we do not find wisdom and simplicity so united in any mere

man, that we can perceive nothing which needs forgiveness. Yet,

when the Son of David was treated with all possible treachery

and cruelty, his wisdom, meekness, candour, and patience, were

perfect. Him let us follow, cleave to, and serve, in life and in

death.

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