the Second Sunday of Lent
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Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“A flattering mouth worketh ruin.”
2 Samuel 15:1-12
The chastisements of God fell very heavily upon David from the time of his great sin, even to the end of his life. His children became the source of his trials. Amnon fell into the foulest sin, and Absalom his brother slew him on account of it. Absalom having obtained forgiveness for the murder, returned to the court and commenced at once to plot against his own father, who loved him far too well. In his attempts to undermine his fathers authority he acted very cunningly, using every art to win popular applause.
2 Samuel 15:1
Outward pomp often catches the attention of the populace, and therefore Absalom added to the attraction of his own handsome person the unusual magnificence of chariots and running footmen.
2 Samuel 15:2-5
Absalom’s ambition led him to take great pains to appear affable and attentive to all. He was early at the palace gate and spoke with all suitors, being “hail-fellow well met” with them all. He flattered each one that his cause was good, and pretended to regret that justice was much neglected; and applicants were kept waiting. If he were king, matters would be seen to at once, and no one should have to complain of delay or injustice. Everybody said “What a courteous prince! What a just and careful ruler Absalom would be!”
2 Samuel 15:6
The hearts of the people were not won, but stolen, for the vain young prince deceived them. While pretending such zeal for their welfare, he was only advancing his own traitorous schemes.
2 Samuel 15:7 , 2 Samuel 15:8
To crown all his other deceit, Absalom pretended to be exceedingly devout, and declared that he must make a pilgrimage to Hebron, in order to keep a holy vow which he had made in the days of his exile. He is a bad man indeed who uses religion as a stalking horse for his base ambition.
2 Samuel 15:9-11
These persons accompanied Absalom to join with him in his devotions, and out of respect for the king’s son; but they were not in the secret of the plot. Absalom, however, used their presence for his own ends, by making the common people believe that these honourable men had left David and gone over to his rebel son.
2 Samuel 15:12
Ahithophel was the intimate friend as well as the counsellor of David; but he appears to have selfishly gone over to the faction of the young prince, because he judged it to be stronger than the party of the king. Thus David was brought into sore distress, his friends were forsaking him, his enemy was growing stronger and aiming to dethrone him; and worst of all, that enemy was his favourite son. What mists and black days befell David after he so sadly swerved from the way of holiness.
“The King also himself passed over the brook Kidron.”
2 Samuel 15:13-26
2 Samuel 15:13
This must have sounded like a thunderclap in the ear of David. While rejoicing in the belief that his son was religiously employed in paying his vows, the news of his rebellion was suddenly brought to him. David had rebelled against his God and king, and now he sees his own son in arms against him. How well had God kept his threatening that evil should arise to him out of his own house!
2 Samuel 15:14
The city could not be defended, for its walls were not built; therefore, David had prayed, “Build thou the walls of Jerusalem.”
2 Samuel 15:16 , 2 Samuel 15:17
He must needs go on foot, though his wicked son had horses: he took his family with him, for he was always a loving father, and would not leave them in danger. Who can tell the sorrow which filled poor David’s heart? God’s rod smote him heavily.
2 Samuel 15:18
and all the Cherethites or executioners
2 Samuel 15:18
and all the Pelethites or messengers
2 Samuel 15:18
These were his body-guard, and remained faithful when others deserted to the popular side. May we always adhere to our Lord Jesus, even though all the world should wander after the beast and the false prophet.
2 Samuel 15:19 , 2 Samuel 15:20
David was too generous to wish to bring troubles upon others; much as he needed Ittai’s help, he would not impose upon his kindness.
2 Samuel 15:21
After this true-hearted fashion we ought to follow Jesus.
2 Samuel 15:22
The Lord did not leave his servant quite alone, but found him friends in his need.
2 Samuel 15:23
The common people mourned with their king, and well they might. There was a yet sadder sight when Jesus, “the King, also himself passed over the brook Kidron.” O Lord, we see thee typified by David, and our hearts adore thee.
2 Samuel 15:24-26
He was jealous for the safety of the ark and the priests, and therefore would not have them exposed to the same dangers as himself. He was also deeply submissive to the Lord’s will, and thereby showed how much his trials had been sanctified to him. It is a blessed thing when the visitations, which God sends upon us for sin, bow us in lowly reverence and humble acquiescence at the Master’s feet. So may the Lord always bless our family afflictions to each one of us.
Jesus, whom angel hosts adore,
Became a man of griefs for me;
In love, though rich, becoming poor,
That I, through him, enrich’d might be.