2Samuel 15:19-37

Sunday Morning Bible Study

April 21, 2002

Introduction

David is once again on the run. His reign as king of Israel has taken a turn for the worse and his own son, Absalom, has turned against him.

True Friends

:19-23 Ittai the Warrior

:19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us?

Ittai‘Ittay – “with me”. Ittai seems to be some kind of Philistine commander

:20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday,

Ittai apparently only just recently showed up in Jerusalem. It doesn’t have to take a long time to make good friends.

:20 return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.

David isn’t about to make his friend choose sides and risk his life. He releases him from following him.

:21 whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.

This is commitment to a friend. Absalom was out to get his dad’s position. Ittai was out to serve.

:23 passed over the brook Kidron

Lesson

A good friend will stay when others leave.

(Prov 18:24 NLT) There are "friends" who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.
Illustration
An English publication offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of entries received were the following: “One who multiplies joys, divides grief”; “One who understands our silence”; “A volume of sympathy bound in cloth”; and “A watch which beats true for all time and never runs down.” But the entry which won the prize said, “A friend—the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”
Illustration
As the Lone Ranger and Tonto were riding along towards the north, they spotted a war party of about 50 Apaches coming at them. They turned south, but another war party appeared. They turned east and met another party of 100 braves. They turned west as their last remaining hope and saw a party of 500. The Lone Ranger turned to his friend and said, “Well, faithful friend, this is the end, there’s not much we can do.” Tonto looked back at the Lone Ranger. “What you mean WE, white man?”

Oops.

We need people in our lives that will stay with us when the chips are down like Ittai stayed with David.
(Eccl 4:9-12 KJV) Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. {10} For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up. {11} Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone? {12} And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
But even more important, we need to be like Ittai, standing with those who need us.
Don’t leave this morning thinking, “Gee, I sure with I had some friends”. Be a friend. Look for someone like David to walk with.
Illustration
Stu Weber, pastor of Good Shepherd Community Church in Boring, Oregon, writes,

1967. We were at war with Vietnam. And there I was, at the U.S. Army Ranger School at Fort Benning, Georgia. It was brutal.

I can still hear the raspy voice of the sergeant: “We are here to save your lives. We’re going to see to it that you overcome all your natural fears. We’re going to show you just how much incredible stress the human mind and body can endure. And when we’re finished with you, you will be the U.S. Army’s best!”

Then, before he dismissed the formation, he announced our first assignment. We’d steeled ourselves for something really tough—like running 10 miles in full battle gear or rappelling down a sheer cliff.

Instead, he told us to—find a buddy.

“Find yourself a Ranger buddy,” he growled. “You will stick together. You will never leave each other. You will encourage each other, and, as necessary, you will carry each other.” It was the army’s way of saying, “Difficult assignments require a friend. Together is better.”

- Men of Integrity, Vol. 1, no. 1.

(Heb 10:23-25 KJV) Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) {24} And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: {25} Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

:24-29 Zadok the Priest

:24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him

Zadok is one of the two high priests (2Sam. 8:17).

:26 let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.

It might sound as if David is giving up on God, sending the Ark back. But he’s not. He’s really trusting God.

Lesson

Put your troubles in God’s hands

David wrote a Psalm during this time. It shows us where his heart is at:
(Psa 3 KJV) A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. {2} Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. {3} But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. {4} I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. {5} I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. {6} I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. {7} Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. {8} Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.
As important as friendship is, healthy relationships come from people who are learning to trust and rely on God.

:27 Art not thou a seer?

A “seer” was a prophet. He was a person who “saw” things, who received things from God. David knows that Zadok is a prophet. Zadok hears from God. And David knows that Zadok doesn’t need to be with David in order to hear from God. Zadok just needs to be near to God.

:27 Ahimaaz thy son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.

David will have these boys be messengers between Zadok and himself.

Ahimaaz ‘Achiyma‘ats – “my brother is anger (wrath)”

Jonathan[email protected] – “Jehovah has given”

Abiathar ‘Ebyathar – “my father is great”.  There are two priestly lines at this time, that of Eleazar and Ithamar.  Both have men who are qualified to be high priests.  Zadok is of the line of Eleazar, Abiathar is of the line of Ithamar.

:28 See, I will tarry in the plain of the wilderness, until there come word from you to certify me.

certifynagad – (Hiphil) to tell, declare; to tell, announce, report; to inform of

David is planning on stopping and camping out near the Jordan River. He is not going to go any farther until he gets word from Zadok of what to do.

Lesson

A good friend will pray for you

Perhaps this might seem a little stretch to see prayer here, but that’s what Zadok will be doing if he’s going to be getting instructions from God for David.
For those of you who are teachers – you need to be praying for the people you are teaching. God has a message for them. He wants to speak through you.
Do you pray with your friends? Good friends will learn to pray with and for each other.

Lesson

A good friend will tell you what God says

A friend will tell you the truth, even if it isn’t something you want to hear.
There will be a word sent to David in the wilderness. It will be a message saying, “Absalom is out to kill you so RUN!” That might not be the message David wanted to hear, but it was the truth.
A friend will tell you to run from danger. A friend will tell you to run from sin.
But this doesn’t mean that a friend will only be focusing on your problems.
A friend will love you like Jesus does.

(John 13:34-35 KJV) A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. {35} By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

How does Jesus love us?

(Rom 8:31-39 KJV) What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? {32} He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? {33} Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. {34} Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. {35} Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? {36} As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. {37} Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. {38} For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, {39} Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

God is madly in love with you. He is on your side. He is not against you. He doesn’t condemn you but justifies you. Nothing can separate you from His love.

:30-31 Ahithophel – the bad friend

:31 Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.

Ahithophel‘Achiythophel – “my brother is foolish (folly)”. This is David’s good friend and counsellor, who was also coincidentally the grandfather of Bathsheba (2Sa 11:3, 23:34)

It is possible that Ahithophel has been disgusted with David for his conduct with Bathsheba in committing adultery and murder.

David would write two songs about Ahithophel and his betrayal:

(Psa 55:12-14 KJV) For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: {13} But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance. {14} We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company.
(Psa 41:9 KJV) Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

It is one of life’s bitterest experiences to have been betrayed by a close friend.

:31 O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.

turn … into foolishnesscakal – (Piel) to make foolish, turn into foolishness

David knows how wise and sharp Ahithophel is. He knows how dangerous it is that he is with Absalom.

David handles the knowledge of Ahithophel’s betrayal by praying.

:32-37 Hushai the Counsellor

:32 Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat rent

It would seem that God has already begun to answer David’s prayer, by having Hushai show up.

Ahithophel wasn’t David’s only counsellor. Hushai is another of David’s counsellors.

Lesson

Multitude of counsellors

Be careful about depending on just one person for advice.
(Prov 11:14 KJV) Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
David had several counsellors.

Lesson

A friend is sympathetic

There will be people who will be cursing David and making fun of him as he is having a difficult time.
But Hushai is grieved.
Some people will think that David deserves what he’s getting. You could even make a Scriptural point of saying that David is only reaping what he sowed with Bathsheba and Uriah.
But Hushai is grieved.

:34 then mayest thou for me defeat the counsel of Ahithophel.

After hearing of Ahithophel’s betrayal, praying, and then seeing Hushai, David begins to comes up with a plan. He asks Hushai to stay behind, offer his counsel to Absalom, and hopefully be able to counteract some of the advice of Ahithophel. This is going to save David’s life.

:37 Absalom came into Jerusalem.

The rebellion is at its peak.

Lesson

A good friend is an answer to prayer

A counsellor has answers.  Hushai was an answer.  David prayed and Hushai showed up. Could you be the answer to someone’s prayer?

Do you need a friend? Jesus is the best friend

He is a Warrior.  He will stay with you and fight for you (Ittai)

He is a Priest.  He prays for you, and He’ll tell you what God says (Zadok)

He is a Counsellor.  He is the answer to your prayer (Hushai)

Jesus said,

(John 15:13 KJV) Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.