David Hears of Absalom’s Death

Godly sorrow results in a willingness to change. Worldly sorrow results in hanging on to the sin. Worldly sorrow sees the sin as precious, as something you know is wrong yet you find yourself desperately trying to figure out some fool proof way to keep it close to you. Like Balbo … More

Sorrow

Ahimaaz wants to run and tell David that the Lord has delivered him from his enemies and he tells Joab (v. 19). Joab tells Ahimaaz it is best not to do it today because the king’s son is dead (v. 20). Soon a man from Ethiopia was standing there and Joab told him, “Go and tell the king what you have seen,” and the man got up and started running (v. 21). Ahimaaz still wanted to go so he asked Joab again if he could go along with the Ethiopian and reluctantly he told him to go ahead (vv. 22-23). He takes the road through the Jordan valley and outran the Ethiopian.

Meanwhile David was sitting between the inner and outer gates of the town while one of his soldiers was watching from the roof of the gate-tower and saw a man running toward the town, so shouted the news to the king  (v. 24). David answered, “If he is alone, he must have some good news” (v. 25). As the runner was getting closer the soldier saw another runner coming in the distance and shouted down to David (v. 26). The watchman recognized that the first man was Ahimaaz and at that point Ahimaaz shouted to David that the enemy has given victory over your enemies (vv. 27-28). “Is my son alright?” David asked and Ahimaaz replied, “When Joab sent me, I saw a noisy crowd. But I don’t know what it was all about” (v. 29).

Then, David told him to step aside and wait as the man from Ethiopia arrived and said, “I have good news for my lord the king. The Lord has rescued you from all your enemies” (vv. 30-31)! Is my son Absalom alright?” David asked (v. 32). The Ethiopian replied that he wished all of David’s enemies would end up like him. David started trembling and went up to the room above the city gate to cry (v. 33). As he went he kept saying, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!”

Application

It is never easy to see our adult children have to suffer but best for me to let the Lord control them. 

II Samuel 18:19-33 (English Standard Version)

Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, "Let me run and carry news to the king that the LORD has delivered him from the hand of his enemies." And Joab said to him, "You are not to carry news today. You may carry news another day, but today you shall carry no news, because the king's son is dead." Then Joab said to the Cushite, "Go, tell the king what you have seen." The Cushite bowed before Joab, and ran. Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, "Come what may, let me also run after the Cushite." And Joab said, "Why will you run, my son, seeing that you will have no reward for the news?" "Come what may," he said, "I will run." So he said to him, "Run." Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran the Cushite. Now David was sitting between the two gates, and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and when he lifted up his eyes and looked, he saw a man running alone. The watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, "If he is alone, there is news in his mouth." And he drew nearer and nearer. The watchman saw another man running. And the watchman called to the gate and said, "See, another man running alone!" The king said, "He also brings news." The watchman said, "I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok." And the king said, "He is a good man and comes with good news." Then Ahimaaz cried out to the king, "All is well." And he bowed before the king with his face to the earth and said, "Blessed be the LORD your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king." And the king said, "Is it well with the young man Absalom?" Ahimaaz answered, "When Joab sent the king's servant, your servant, I saw a great commotion, but I do not know what it was." And the king said, "Turn aside and stand here." So he turned aside and stood still. And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, "Good news for my lord the king! For the LORD has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you." The king said to the Cushite, "Is it well with the young man Absalom?" And the Cushite answered, "May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man." And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, "O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!"

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