Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 18

At last, David hears that Absalom is dead

2 Samuel 18:31-32

Ahimaaz had already told David the good news about the defeat of his (David’s) enemies. He expected David to praise God for the great kindness that God had shown. However, David did not praise God. Instead, David’s whole attention was on what had happened to his son Absalom. Absalom was the leader of those men who had opposed David.

The next man who came to report on the battle seems to be a foreigner. He came from Cush, which probably means the nation south of Egypt in Africa. As a child, he would have served false gods. However, he came to Israel, and there he learned about the true God, David’s God.

This man too declared that God had rescued David that day. Many men – in fact, a vast army – had opposed David (Psalm 3), but God had saved him from their wicked plans. Their defeat was total. It was not David’s army who had saved him; this was the work of God, and David should give God honour for it.

However, David still had no interest in this message. Again he repeated his question: Is Absalom safe?’

The man answered with great wisdom. Of course a father feels strong emotions at the death of his son. However, David must first remember God’s goodness to him, to save him from his enemies. David must not consider it terrible when death ends an evil person’s wicked schemes. Absalom’s deeds were evil – David had been unable to stop him, but now God had stopped him. Now God, and no person, would be Absalom’s judge. David must now give God the honour that he deserves. God had rescued David from Absalom, even as he had so often rescued David from his enemies in the past. The man from Cush prayed that God would always do that.

Next part: David's emotions after he hears about Absalom's death (2 Samuel 18:33)


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