View 2nd Samuel 18 in the note window.
bsalom's army defeated. (1-8) He is slain. (9-18) David's
Verses 1-8: How does David render good for evil! Absalom would have
only David smitten; David would have only Absalom spared. This
seems to be a resemblance of man's wickedness towards God, and
God's mercy to man, of which it is hard to say which is most
amazing. Now the Israelites see what it is to take counsel
against the Lord and his anointed.
Verses 9-18: Let young people look upon Absalom, hanging on a tree,
accursed, forsaken of heaven and earth; there let them read the
Lord's abhorrence of rebellion against parents. Nothing can
preserve men from misery and contempt, but heavenly wisdom and
the grace of God.
Verses 19-33: By directing David to give God thanks for his victory,
Ahimaaz prepared him for the news of his son's death. The more
our hearts are fixed and enlarged, in thanksgiving to God for
our mercies, the better disposed we shall be to bear with
patience the afflictions mixed with them. Some think David's
wish arose from concern about Absalom's everlasting state; but
he rather seems to have spoken without due thought. He is to be
blamed for showing so great fondness for a graceless son. Also
for quarrelling with Divine justice. And for opposing the
justice of the nation, which, as king, he had to administer, and
which ought to be preferred before natural affection. The best
men are not always in a good frame; we are apt to over-grieve
for what we over-loved. But while we learn from this example to
watch and pray against sinful indulgence, or neglect of our
children, may we not, in David, perceive a shadow of the
Saviour's love, who wept over, prayed for, and even suffered
death for mankind, though vile rebels and enemies.