2 Samuel 18

* Absalom's army defeated. (1-8) He is slain. (9-18) David's

over-sorrow. (19-33)

1-8 How does David render good for evil! Absalom would have

only David smitten; David would have only Absalom spared. This

seems to be a resemblance of man's wickedness towards God, and

God's mercy to man, of which it is hard to say which is most

amazing. Now the Israelites see what it is to take counsel

against the Lord and his anointed.
9-18 Let young people look upon Absalom, hanging on a tree,

accursed, forsaken of heaven and earth; there let them read the

Lord's abhorrence of rebellion against parents. Nothing can

preserve men from misery and contempt, but heavenly wisdom and

the grace of God.
19-33 By directing David to give God thanks for his victory,

Ahimaaz prepared him for the news of his son's death. The more

our hearts are fixed and enlarged, in thanksgiving to God for

our mercies, the better disposed we shall be to bear with

patience the afflictions mixed with them. Some think David's

wish arose from concern about Absalom's everlasting state; but

he rather seems to have spoken without due thought. He is to be

blamed for showing so great fondness for a graceless son. Also

for quarrelling with Divine justice. And for opposing the

justice of the nation, which, as king, he had to administer, and

which ought to be preferred before natural affection. The best

men are not always in a good frame; we are apt to over-grieve

for what we over-loved. But while we learn from this example to

watch and pray against sinful indulgence, or neglect of our

children, may we not, in David, perceive a shadow of the

Saviour's love, who wept over, prayed for, and even suffered

death for mankind, though vile rebels and enemies.

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