Hushai sends word to David that they need to speedily cross over the Jordan. “So David and all the people who were with him arose and crossed over the Jordan.”
Today we see four consequences as a result of yesterday’s four adversities.
1) “Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he saddled a donkey, and arose and went home to his house, to his city. Then he put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died; and he was buried in his father’s tomb.” As Charles Spurgeon said, “Thousands set their houses in order, but destroy their souls; they look well to their flocks and their herds, but not to their hearts’ best interests… They save their money, but squander their happiness; they are guardians of their estates, but suicides of their souls.”
2) Absalom pursues David, and David sends his men out against him with a clear command to everyone to deal gently with Absalom. “The people of Israel were overthrown there before the servants of David, and a great slaughter of twenty thousand took place there that day.” When Absalom rides out on a mule, the mule goes under a terebinth tree and “his head caught in the terebinth; so he was left hanging between heaven and earth.” Joab disobeys David’s orders and drives three spears through Absalom’s heart. Then ten young men with Joab beat Absalom until he dies.
The news of Absalom’s death devastates David. Although Abaslom was a vicious traitor, he was still David’s son, and the love of a father outweighs the sins of a child. David is so heartbroken that he says, “if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” David’s heart reflects the heart of the Lord, who is sending His Son to die on behalf of rebellious mankind. Jesus, who is God Himself, is coming through David’s bloodline to be slaughtered so that we may have life. David can’t take the place of his son in death, but the Lord can take our place as we will see Him do later in the story.
However, David’s mourning puts a huge damper on David’s men’s victory. Joab rebukes David and says that instead of mourning the one who was trying to kill him, he should be honoring the ones who fought for him and Israel. David’s men, who should be celebrating, are now feeling ashamed over the victory. So David heeds the words of Joab and does what is right in spite of his feelings – he takes his public seat among the people. Then David is restored as king, and he makes Amasa commander of his army in place of Joab.
3) On David’s return to Jerusalem, he runs into the insult slinging Shimei again. Now that David is restored as king, Shimei bows down before him and begs for forgiveness. David spares his life, but this isn’t the last we will hear of Shimei.
4) When David returns, Saul’s son Mephibosheth comes to meet the king. “And he had not cared for his feet, nor trimmed his mustache, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he returned in peace.” When David asks Mephibosheth why he didn’t go with him, Mephibosheth explains to David that he was deceived by Ziba. Therefore, David tells Mephibosheth to split the land that he took from Mephibosheth and gave to Ziba. “Then Mephibosheth said to the king, ‘Rather, let him take it all, inasmuch as my lord the king has come back in peace to his own house.’” Mephibosheth doesn’t care about the material things, he is just happy that the king is home!
Tomorrow the Gibeonites show up again. Remember during the Conquest Era when they pretended to be from a far away country and Joshua made a treaty with them? (Joshua 9). Well, the Lord remembers, and tomorrow we discover that someone broke that promise, so keep reading. (2 Samuel 17:15-29, Psalm 3, Psalm 63, 2 Samuel 18:1-19:30)