Think Of The Homeless

There are over 30 million Americans who live on the streets of our nation. Can you consider giving something to a shelter near you? Your fellow human beings need socks because they walk everywhere. Food and shelter are great too, if they will take them. So please give.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Reviews by Hubie Goode: The Life and Times of King David part 5

The Life and 
Times of King

part 5

When king David finally learned about his son’s insurrection, it was almost too late. His court had become divided over his leadership and the people had formed a social movement in favor of Absalom. Now aged and an unlikely competitor for the younger man, David was forced to flee his capital, across the Jordan to Mahanaim. Several hundred of his loyal followers went with him as he made his way east. These consisted of his servants, his runners, his soldiers and his household. However, his priests Abiathar and Zadok remained behind to report on Absalom’s actions.

Absalom's Pillar, which he built to himself, still exists.
Once outside the capital, David could then see the mood of the people. An old man assaulted him with rocks and curses. But to many of the people it looked as if David had given up the throne to Absalom. Many of them wept as he passed by, but in Jerusalem, Absalom took the capital without a struggle.

The chief adviser to Absalom recommended an immediate attack on Mahanaim, before David could gather his armies. He had about 12,000 men under his command, more than enough to claim victory if he did indeed act swiftly. But a second adviser told Absalom to mobilize all of Israel against his father. This man, Hushai, had pledged allegiance to Absalom but in reality he was a double agent for David. His suggestion was a play for time as David gathered his forces.

“You know that your father and his men are mighty men, and your father is expert in war.” Hushai told Absalom. There was enough truth in that statement to deter the young king long enough, and when he did finally attack, David was ready for him.

The battle was a rout, as the conscripted rookies of Absalom went up against the battle tested veterans of David’s troops. Thousands died in the battle and even though David had requested Absalom be spared, Joab took Absalom out as he hung from a tree by his own hair.

When notified, David went into mourning over his son. He had a great love for his children no matter what they had done to him, and he sequestered himself away in his bedroom. Joab knew that David risked losing his supporter by isolating himself and he confronted the King. “You shame those who love you today,” he told the king. “You make it clear that commanders and servants mean nothing to you as you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. If you don’t go out and speak to your men, then by morning there will be no one left!”

Joab was probably right and when David felt shame by his general’s accusation, he did indeed go out to the people. But before he could return to his capital a new cry of insurrection erupted.  A man named Sheba, a Benjaminite, made one last effort to split the kingdom that was now under one rule. Joab, loyal to a fault, followed Sheba  to the town of Abel, and the people of the town , in an effort to save their own hides, cut off Sheba’s head an threw it over the wall to Joab. Both insurrections and Sheba were now dead.

Adonija, David’s eldest surviving son, was now heir apparent. But at this time there was no precedent for succession to the throne. He was deeply concerned about the influence of Bathsheba, mother to his half brother Solomon. She had the powerful palace clique behind her and David was old and on his last legs. Adonijah had both Joab and the high priest Abiathar on his team, and he decided the time was ripe to strike. He took it upon himself to declare his King ship of Israel, and performed all the required activities for doing so. His supporters gathered for a festive banquet to celebrate.

When Bathsheba heard of this from the prophet Nathan, she went directly to the bedridden King. She told him of his son’s treacherous actions and reminded him of his promise to make Solomon king.

David immediately ordered the appointment of Solomon as King of Israel and gathered all of Solomon’s supporters for his own inauguration. When Adonijah’s followers heard the news, they quickly abandoned him. Adonijah sought sanctuary in the temple and was spared by Solomon. 

Bathsheba presents Solomon to his father the King

By this time, David, former shepherd, had reigned in Jerusalem 33 years. The about the year 960 B.C., he died in a good old age, full of years, riches and honor. He had broadened the borders of Israel, and made her richer with the spoils of  war. He left a golden age for his son Solomon who would succeed him in a time of unprecedented peace. To the world he left the city of Jerusalem, and of course, his beloved psalms.

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