2 Samuel 17:1-14
Joshua 24:14-33 – Choose Whom You Will Serve. The people are being presented with the choice of who they will serve. The nation had witnessed first-hand what became of the sinful nations that occupied Canaan and how the mighty hand of the Lord had made the conquest successful. It would seem to be a “no brainer” who the people would serve. Joshua had been like Eliakim who saved the nation and had seen the conquest through to the end. No matter who the people chose to serve, Joshua and his family or household would serve the Lord. The people with one voice said, “we will serve the Lord!”. The thing is, a time was coming when they would not have the great Joshua and the elders would die out leaving the next generation to carry the ball. The rock was a visual reminder of the choice they made and the law was the implication of their choice.
Psalms 85 – Revive Us Again. When we walk on the pathway of “Righteousness”, the Lord blesses our lives, our homes, and families, and peace reigns supreme. The problem is, the Devil doesn’t like peace because then he has no admirers so he stirs up trouble through pretense. When following his course trouble ensues slowly to blind us to what is going on around us. Eventually, we wake up “spiritually” and see what has become of our life and then we think, “how in the name of all that is Holy did I end up here”. This is where the people of Jerusalem are. The only recourse to overcome sin is to admit that you have sinned and that your strength will not save the city and that it is the Lord’s will that will prevail. To put it practically, when we become enamored with our success financially or in our skillset, we follow the course of the world and enjoy the trinkets. When we find out that those things will not bring lasting joy, we turn back to the Lord and seek His forgiveness and restoration which comes about slowly. The salvation experience we had the first time we came to him will not occur the 2nd or 3rd etc.. times.
Ecclesiastes 7:1-14 – The Contrast of Wisdom and Folly. The great battle between Wisdom and Folly is a play steeped in history. Folly prefers to feast and celebrate while the walls are falling down all around her. Folly’s ardent admirers follow her lead often to their destruction. Consider the Great Civil War in the US that ended in 1868. At the onset, the people reveled in the notion of a “one day battle” only to have it drag on for four years at the cost of the death of millions. Folly says, “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we shall die” but Folly does not die she finds a new audience. Folly compels us to fear the events of life and think “the end is coming” so when the end doesn’t come the audience thinks “so much for this prophesy” and goes back to what they were doing. Wisdom, on the other hand, tells us to listen to the Lord and trust Him in times of storm and sunshine, pain and sorrow, loss and gain. We have no idea what the future holds and that is by design. If we knew about the future, we would wait until the last moment to change our minds and alter our direction. What we are told is, “obey my laws and precepts whether you agree with them or not”. When we do what is asked of us, the Lord sees us through no matter how deep or troublesome the battle may be.
Isaiah 22:15-25 – An Oracle Concerning Jerusalem. The leaders of Jerusalem had become sinful and their poison spread to the people of the great city. This is act two in the Devil’s play but the people did not understand how they were being played. Shebna was the treasurer in the house of the king. Shebna means “he who rests himself is now captive”. Shebna thought highly of himself so he built a prominent tomb for himself in the mountains so that people would remember him, as they did for David. The Lord’s plan for Israel was that they would be the “city on a hill” but had become like the people they were to influence (Shebna). Eliakim would be the “poor man who saves the city by his wisdom” (Ecclesiastes 9:15). The problem is, that the poor man’s wisdom is good only until peace reigns in the city and then the people turn back to their evil ways. Eliakim would be captured and taken to Babylon and another king would be put installed.
2 Samuel 17:1-14 – Hushai Saves David. Ahithophel’s guidance was good and accurate. Hushai knew that David was weary and worn out and, I believe anyway, is the impetus for Proverbs 30:1-4. The thing is, Absalom was doomed to destruction the day he acted on the foolish notion to usurp the throne. Going into battle against David with the band of men that Absalom had was a sure recipe for slaughter. First of all, the men that banded with Absalom had no idea what they got themselves into or what would happen when the battle was fully engaged. Absalom’s agreement to Hushai’s plan played to the pride of life. Remember this, everything the enemy seeks to get us to do always plays out like a three-act play. In the first act, the unknowing dupe is prompted with a beautiful idea that eventually is replayed in his/her mind until the end of the act. In act two, the plan is enacted but it doesn’t play out as expected. In act three, we are utterly ruined and the Lord’s purpose prevails. In this play act one, Absalom wants to defeat David, and what could be better than for King Absalom to ride into battle?