REPOST Today’s Spiritual Food for Thought, written by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church in Raleigh, was originally posted on May 16, 2015. He is a graduate of Drexel University (B.S.) and Columbia International University (M.Div.).
Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend
“Overcoming Obstacles in Life”
2 Samuel 15:13-37
And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.”  Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”  And the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.”  So the king went out, and all his household after him. And the king left ten concubines to keep the house.  And the king went out, and all the people after him. And they halted at the last house.  And all his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath, passed on before the king.  Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home.  You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go I know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you.”  But Ittai answered the king, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.”  And David said to Ittai, “Go then, pass on.” So Ittai the Gittite passed on with all his men and all the little ones who were with him.  And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness.  And Abiathar came up, and behold, Zadok came also with all the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God until the people had all passed out of the city.  Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place.  But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.”  The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Go back to the city in peace, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.  See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.”  So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.  But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went.  And it was told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.”  While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head.  David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me.  But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,’ then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel.  Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So whatever you hear from the king’s house, tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.  Behold, their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son, and by them you shall send to me everything you hear.”  So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.
One of my favorite movies of all time is Rudy, an account of the life of Daniel “Rudy” Ruettiger, who harbored dreams of playing football at the University of Notre Dame despite significant obstacles. Though he achieved some success in high school as a football player, he not only lacked the grades and money necessary to attend Notre Dame, but the talent and physical stature as well to play for a major intercollegiate program. He was met with many obstacles in achieving his goal of playing football for Notre Dame: people telling him he was not good enough, his grade not being up to par, not having the physical stature, and his own parents not believing in him. But despite the many hurdles, he had unwavering faith that one day his dream of playing Notre Dame football would come true.
In our Christian journey, our faith is often tested as well; and when it is, it often reveals our trust in the character and sovereignty of God. In today’s reading, David is running away from his son Absalom who has won the heart of Israel, though there are a handful of people still loyal to David. We first see David’s trust in the Lord when the Ark of the Covenant is brought to him by two priests, Abiathar and Zadok (v. 24). David orders the priests to take the ark back to Jerusalem because he does not want to “use” God to his advantage. It reveals David’s trust in God’s judgment and sovereignty, submitting himself to God.
David also prays and trusts God when he is in trouble. In verse 30, we see one of his trusted counselors, Ahithophel, who was in on the Absalom conspiracy. One commentator writes, “Athithophel was sharp; he had no peer; savvy and success oozed from this advice (16:23). Hence David met the dreaded report with instant prayer.” (2 Samuel – Dale Ralph Davis)
What do you do when your faith is tested? Do you trust in God’s sovereignty and turn to Him in prayer? We see that even when David is betrayed, his kingship is up in the air, and his life is threatened, he turns to the Lord in trust and confidence. Maybe you are in a season where you are facing difficulties—turn to the One who has a purpose and plan for you. Turn to the One who is faithful in every season of life.
Prayer: Lord, I turn to You today asking for unwavering faith in all the seasons of my life. In hardship and in blessing, I want to trust that You know what’s best for me. Whatever may be happening in my life, help me to depend on You in prayer. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Romans 11-12