2 Samuel 15 &16 [AMP]
15:13 Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, let us flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom!…30 And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, with his head covered and walking barefoot [in despair]. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went. 31 David was told, “Ahithophel [your counselor] is among the conspirators with Absalom.” David said, “O Lord, I pray You, turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness.”
16:20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give me your advice. What should we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left behind to take care of the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. Then the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened [by your boldness and audacity].” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof [of the king’s palace], and [i]Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
Reading 2 Samuel feels more like a discipline than a devotion to me. It’s not easy. I’ve had to learn that I can only get through the sad and sometimes gruesome details with the aid of hindsight. Hindsight and knowing what’s ahead in the New Testament are reliable markers that tie the experiences of this king to what I know about THE King – Jesus.
David has been forced to flee to the Mount of Olives. He’s in a familiar spot in any wilderness – the unknown. Sin has isolated him from his family and now the nation. It sounds remarkably like the experience of Jesus at that same spot so much later.
David is completely dependent on the protection of “foreigners.” The Kerethites, Pelethites, and Gittites may not have understood David was a man after God’s own heart. They were gentiles, but they certainly had foresight in their journey of open loyalty in support of the king. The benefit of hindsight is to see God already at work to secure a place for other foreigners of his creation just like us.
It doesn’t take a lot of imagination to understand why tears were part of Davids journey. He’s experiencing the betrayal of trust. Absalom’s final violation of the honor of his father was to stage circumstances on a rooftop that must have pierced David’s heart and memory with another rooftop moment of betrayal from his own past. He clearly recognizes God at work even in this moment of betrayal. Sound familiar?