Blow upon blow: 2 Samuel 16.1–14 (19 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 16

David and his regime have been plunged into chaos by Absalom's rebellion. Amid the scramble for safety, loyalties disintegrate and many are simply out for what they can get. Among these is Ziba, a former servant of Saul and now of his grandson Mephibosheth. David had showed kindness to Mephibosheth, who was lame, and restored Saul's possessions to him (chapter 9). Now Ziba accuses him – falsely, as we discover in chapter 19 – of scheming to recover Saul's throne, in the hope – optimistic, under the circumstances – of receiving the property for himself. Another of Saul's relatives, Shimei, follows David and curses him; one of David's hard men, Abishai, wants to kill him, but David refuses to allow it.

These incidents represented more shattering blows for David. He had thought his rule was accepted by Saul's family and clan; now, it seemed it was not. Absalom's action in raping David’s concubines – fulfilling Nathan's prophecy after his sin with Bathsheba (12.11–12) – was the ultimate betrayal.

David is at his lowest point, rejected and humiliated. In his position, many would have given up and walked away. His inner strength, though, derives from a profound relationship with God. He feels what has happened deeply, but he is constantly trying to see it in relation to God's will for him (verse 12).

The psalmist says, 'I am always aware of the LORD's presence; he is near, and nothing can shake me' (16.8). True resilience comes from a deep awareness of God's presence.



God, help me never to doubt in the darkness what you have shown me in the light. Keep me aware of your presence even when I feel most alone.

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