Reading: 2 Samuel 15—19
Absalom's conspiracy is a sad picture of rebellion and broken relationships. These chapters contain abundant foreshadowing which is picked up in the human rebellion against the Son of David, the Messianic King, in the Gospels. Sunday, we will examine these further, from John 18—the trial of Jesus. There is however one picture that provides a stark contrast between David as a human king, and Christ as our Divine Conqueror and King.
David has left the city of Jerusalem, crossing the Kidron Valley. His son Absalom is bent on killing him and taking away his throne. The faithful have followed David out of the city and across the valley (2 Samuel 15:23). In the scene that follows, David has just learned of Absalom's plan of attack.
David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. 2David sent the troops out—a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab's brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, "I myself will surely march out with you." (2 Samuel 18:1-2)
Two things come to mind as I read this commitment from David. First is the apparent courage to march out with his troops. Second, I am reminded of Jesus promise to the church in the Great Commission, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Christ has promised to march out with us as we carry out the Great Commission. However, there is a a serious difference between David and Christ evident in this very commitment. It is seen in the next couple of verses.
3But the men said, "You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won't care about us. Even if half of us die, they won't care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city." 4The king answered, "I will do whatever seems best to you." So the king stood beside the gate while all the men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands. (2 Samuel 18:3-4)
When all was said and done, David opted not to go out before them, and wisely so from a human perspective, in order to save his skin and protect the cause. The people were willing to die for the king. The people wanted to protect him. David's promise was valiant, but in the end, it didn't come about. On the other hand, Jesus' made his promise to always go out with us, after having already gone before us in death, in order to defeat it. (John 13:1; 14:2,3; 15:13; 16:7, 16-21) He is worth more then ten thousand of us; He is worth more than all of us!
Now, risen from the dead, ascended to His heavenly throne, He has poured out His Spirit upon us and goes before us. He will fulfill his promise to always march out with us. What's the battle plan of the Great Commission? Pray in Christ-dependency and then go engage the world around us trusting Him to fulfill His promise! He does indeed march out with us.
Love the Gospel, Live the Gospel, Advance the Gospel,