Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
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Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for May 16, 2 Sam 16-18

Today's readings are 2 Samuel 16-18. Tomorrow's are Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61, 62, 64. 

An odd exchange takes place between David and Ziba, Mephibosheth's servant. Ziba shows up, as David is leaving, with gifts for David and his men, claiming Mephibosheth has stayed behind, hoping what was once Saul's would be restored to him. In other words, Ziba claims Mephibosheth is betraying David's previous generosity toward him becauae he is Jonathan's son. Being an heir of Saul, Mephibosheth hopes to regain what was taken from Saul, or so Ziba claims. David asks a few pointed questions which Ziba does not directly answer. For whatever reason, David decides to believe Ziba and, without bothering to verify Ziba's claims, gives him all that belongs to Mephibosheth.

Shimei, another proponent of Saul, comes along and openly curses David. Abishai wants to kill Shimai but David has mercy, deciding that his accusations may have some validity, even though they are an inappropriate way to address the king. 

The contrast between Ziba and Shimei is startling. Ziba ingratiates himself to David, Shimei harshly accuses David. Both are wrong, but only to a degree. David errs on the side of grace in both cases, leaving the ultimate fate of both in God's hands. 

Hushai, who remains loyal to David, infiltrates Absalom's inner circle and becomes an adviser as does the evil Ahithophel, who some think is the likely grandfather to Bathsheba. Ahithophel's advice to Absalom leads to one of Nathan's prophecies over David being fulfilled as Absalom publicly lies with David's wives.

Hushai manages to save David by Advising Absalom to postpone an attack on David. We hear that this decision to wait will ultimately doom Absalom. The outcome of the battle between Absalom and David is determined before it ever begins. 

When the battle ensues, Joab, contrary to David's orders, maliciously kills a helpless Absalom. David the king has won a major victory! David the father grieves woefully over the loss of his son, even though Absalom had betrayed him. David is a picture of God's grace and mercy. 

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