2 Samuel 18:18 – Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself the pillar, which is in the king’s dale; for he said, I have no son to keep my name in memory: and he called the pillar after his own name; and it is called Absalom’s monument, to this day.
Built into every person is the desire to have their life ‘count’ for something – to be able to ‘make a mark’ that will last beyond their lifetime, so that their time on earth will be remembered.
Absalom had no sons, so instead he set up a monument – so that those who came after would remember him.
When it comes to leaving your mark – you either ‘have sons’ or you ‘build monuments’. Man’s way is to build monuments to show our greatness. But God’s way is that we take what is on us and pass it on to the next generation.
It’s no mistake that every spiritual gift is related to the building up of PEOPLE rather than THINGS. Monuments are temporary, but people are eternal.
Don’t spend your life building monuments – spend it pouring into people. Teach them what you know – encourage and help them to become all that they are called to be. This is how God wants us to leave our mark on the world!
2 Samuel 5:12 – David perceived that Yahweh had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel’s sake.
A good leader realises two things – 1) God has put them in the position and 2) they have been put there for the blessing of His people.
2 Samuel 9:1 – David said, Is there yet any who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?
The household of Saul deserves nothing but death from David, who had been badly mistreated by him. Yet because of David’s love for Jonathan, kindness is being extended to this wicked household.
In the same way, the human race deserves nothing but judgement from God for our wickedness and the way we’ve turned against Him. Yet because of His love for His human Son, God wishes to extend kindness to the human race and has mercy upon us.
The household of Saul experienced mercy from David the King, because of Jonathan. In the same way the household of Adam experiences mercy from God, because of Christ. We receive the kindness of God, not because of our own deserving, but for the sake of Christ, whom God loves.
2 Samuel 22:30 – For by you, I run against a troop. By my God, I leap over a wall.
The power that comes from the Spirit of God turns natural people into supernatural giants!
Following on from this chapter in 2 Samuel is a list of the ‘mighty men’ of David. These were men who came to David distressed, discontent, and in debt. But David taught them how to stand in the power of God, and they became giant-slayers too. They routed entire armies single-handed, and brought about huge gains for their people!
Through God’s power, nothing is impossible for us! We can overcome overwhelming odds. We can win in ways that don’t logically make sense!
Truly, if God is for us – who can be against us? Stand your ground today and know that God is with you… you’re going to win!!
2 Samuel 22:4 – I will call on Yahweh, who is worthy to be praised: So shall I be saved from my enemies.
Even before David has fought the battle, he is praising God and calling on Him. His experience of God has brought him to the place where he knows that God WILL WIN!
The highest kind of faith is the one that sincerely praises God for what He will do before He’s done it! When we can see just how mighty our God is, how capable, how powerful – it creates worship within us that sparks even before the battle has begun.
2 Corinthians 2:14 says ‘Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph!’. Start praising God where you are today – and you’ll find that your eyes are open to how He will lead you in victory!!
2 Samuel 22:20 – He also brought me out into a large place. He delivered me, because he delighted in me.
God delivers us because he delights in us. He rescues us, because He likes us!!
The devil is always trying to make you think that God has given up on you. That your sin is too great, and that you are doomed to your situations because you haven’t been a good enough follower of Christ.
But when we start to see that God likes us – IN SPITE of our sin… that our status as children of God isn’t up for grabs just because we got something wrong… that He remains always our loving Father… then we tap into serious power for our lives!
2 Samuel 17:23 – When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey, and arose, and got him home, to his city, and set his house in order, and hanged himself; and he died, and was buried in the tomb of his father.
There’s ways of dealing with things that are constructive, and other ways that only highlight the insecurities that are in your life.
Ahithophel was counsellor to the king. He had a reputation – his advice was like ‘the words of God’. As such, he was very used to being taken seriously, and not used to being ignored.
But Absalom chooses to ignore Ahithophel’s good advice and take some bad advice instead.
What’s Ahithophel’s reaction? He goes, puts his house in order, and hangs himself.
It’s complete overkill (pardon the pun) – but how many times do we react badly when our advice is not followed, when we are ignored, when our status and experience is cast aside? It’s easy to start a downward spiral and begin thinking ‘what use have I got?’.
Ahithophel’s problem was that he’d become so entwined with his role and his words, that when Absalom rejected what he had to say, Ahithophel could only take it personally. Contrast this with David – when he could not be king, he went back to being ‘David’.
If you allow what you do or your relationships to define ‘who you are’ you’re setting yourself up for a fall. Your roles and friends may come and go -know who you are apart from them!
2 Samuel 17:5 – Then said Absalom, Call now Hushai the Archite also, and let us hear likewise what he says.
The Bible tells us that a ‘double minded man is unstable in all his ways’ (James 1:8)
Absalom has just staged a coup and taken over Jerusalem from King David. His royal advisor is Ahithophel – a man whose counsel is ‘like that of God’. But also on the scene is another man – Hushai. Hushai has been sent by David to pretend allegience to Absalom, and to frustrate the advice of Ahithophel. He sows fear into Absalom’s heart, and pushes him down the road to defeat.
So two courses are set before Absalom – one ‘like the counsel of God’, the other ‘sent to frustrate the counsel’. Absalom chooses incorrectly, and ultimately is defeated. The sad thing is that Absalom was initially on the track to victory until Hushai came along and began his questioning.
It’s the same choice we face today. We can either listen to God, or we can listen to the enemy – whose sole purpose is to sow fear into our hearts and get us to turn away from what God says.
There is one voice that will bring us victory. Every other will only serve to bring you defeat. The road to success is single-minded devotion to the words of God.
2 Samuel 13:30 – It happened, while they were in the way, that the news came to David, saying, Absalom has slain all the king`s sons, and there is not one of them left.
Following a meeting which Absalom, the son of David, has called the rest of David’s sons to – the news comes to David that all of his sons have been slain, and that none are left.
David and all those who are with him cry aloud and tear their garments in mourning. But the truth which follows shortly after is that only one son of David is dead – the rest are alive and well.
How many times have we made a quick judgment call on one thing that someone has said to us – only to find out later that it wasn’t the reality of the situation?
We must take care when receiving news of a bad situation. Had David kept his head and investigated further, he would have uncovered the truth very quickly.