Bad Company Corrupts Good Morals (2 Samuel 16-18)

Sunday, October 23 – Week 14

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By Sherry Alcumbrack

In these chapters we read about a struggle between a King and his son, Absalom. I know from being raised in a family with 8 children that there are struggles within the family as the children try to assert their independence. In this story Absalom asks for advice from 2 friends. Ahithophel encourages him to go into his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel, to show the disdain that he had for King David. He also told him to choose 12,000 men to pursue King David. Then Absalom calls Hushai to ask his advice. He tells him that the advice that Ahithophel had given him was bad advice. He reminds him that his father, King David, was surrounded by mighty and valiant men who were loyal to King David and would fight and die for him. Absalom decides to take Ahithopel’s advice, to his detriment. In Proverbs it says a lot about taking advice from others and to listen to wise counsel. I recently heard someone say that he could tell you what your future holds by the friends we surround ourselves with. If they are foolish, we will make foolish decisions, as well. We need to make sure that we are listening to that Godly advice.

Hushai also shows his loyalty to King David by going and warning him of Absalom’s plans. King David was surrounded by people who were loyal to him, down to the servant girl who hid 2 of his friends in a well to keep them safe.

Even through all this, one of the things that stands out is the fact that King David loves Absalom and asks the people to treat him gently. This is his son that is trying to kill him.  In 2 Samuel 18:5, David says “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” The last verse of chapter 18 is King David mourning for his son, after he heard of his death.

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This is the type of love that God shows to us. He is constantly wanting the best for us. He grieves when we turn against him. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” He is just waiting for us to turn back to him, like the father in the Prodigal Son parable that Nathaniel mentioned in a previous devotion.

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We thank Sherry Alcumbrack for writing this week.  Sherry is a wife to Bob, mother to Morgann, Marshall, Grant and Jacob.  She lives in lovely Anderson, SC and attends Guthrie Grove.  She enjoys traveling,  has been to 48 states, and looks forward to visiting Alaska and Hawaii. She loves flowers,lighthouses, waterfalls and sunsets and taking pictures of her family in front of them (her children love this as well.) Spring and Fall are her favorite seasons.  She also loves to read and walk her dog.

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