Betrayal and defeat: 2 Samuel 15.1–37 (18 September 2020)

Bible Society's Daily Reflections follow the M'Cheyne Bible reading plan, designed for those who want to read the whole Bible in one year. Each reflection focuses on one of its four daily chapters. Darllenwch rhain yn Gymraeg.



Lord, open my ears to hear what you have to say to me; open my heart to love your word, and open my mind to understand your truth.


Daily reflection: 2 Samuel 15

Was Absalom always going to 'break bad', or was the tension with his father the thing that tipped him over the edge? Either way, he planned a classic coup, getting the people on his side by promising them whatever they wanted. Unlike most rulers deposed by popular uprisings, though, it's not anger or fear that's uppermost in David's mind, but grief (verse 30). Absalom has betrayed his father's love, and destroyed everything his father had built. No wonder David wept.

On a smaller scale, many of us face similar personal catastrophes at some point in our lives. We experience our hopes and dreams turning to ashes. Sometimes, as it did for David, this strikes like lightning from a cloudless sky; only later can we see what's led up to it and what we might have done differently. Sometimes we have been destroyed by something completely outside our control.

David's response is striking, though. He isn't so lost in grief that he fails to care for others (verse 20). He submits to God's will (verse 25). He begins to plan (verses 32–35). He doesn't rage against fate or blame other people.

When we face the loss of everything we've built, it's easy to become wrapped up in ourselves. But Psalm 34 says, ' The LORD is near to those who are discouraged [or 'broken-hearted']; he saves those who have lost all hope' (verse 18). God does not want us to be permanently damaged or destroyed. He wants to build us up again.



God, thank you for being with me even when times are hardest and I think I've lost everything. Help me to trust you to build me up again, and to bring me through grief and pain.

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