READ: 2 Samuel 15-17
THINK: "If I just had the chance, I could do better than that!" Do you ever catch yourself thinking like that when it comes to one of your leaders or someone who's in a position you covet? Perhaps there are things you could do better, and God may intend to place you in such a position one day. But an arrogant attitude is unacceptable to God. It not only shows a lack of humility, it also shows a lack of trust in God to use you how and when He sees fit. Furthermore, it could cost you the opportunity to actually show what you could do with God's help. As you will see in Absolom's life, God's Word is unmistakable when it says that "pride goes before destruction" (Proverbs 16:18).
RESPOND: How did Absalom undermine his father's leadership and justice, while gaining influence with the people (15:1-6)? How did Absalom win the people's loyalty, and why are people often swayed by such behavior? What were Absalom's ultimate intensions? (See 15:6 note.) How did this affect David, and how did David respond to the situation? (See 15:14 note.) Why is Ittai a prime example of loyalty (15:19-21)? How did David demonstrate humility and dependence on God when he fled Jerusalem (15:25-26; 16:11-12)? (See 15:14 note.) Why did David and his people weep as they fled the city (15:30)? What was one way that Absolom's evil actions fulfilled the prophecy Nathan gave when rebuking David for his sin? (See 16:22 note.) How did Absolom show a lack of wisdom and experience in his response to advisors (17:1-16)? In what ways did people show loyalty to David during this time?
PRAY: Pray for wisdom to know when to stand and "fight" and for humility to avoid conflict when God would have you do so. Pray that you'll always trust God to put you in or out of the right situations at the rights times.
ACT: Have you in any way been disingenuous with people, trying to gain a reputation or influence for yourself at the expense of others? Have you done anything that could undermine the abilities or influence of someone in leadership? If so, stop that behavior immediately, apologize to those involved and show sincere support for your leaders. If you cannot support them in good conscious or they are influencing you to defy God, then back out of your involvement with them gracefully-without stirring more trouble-and pray that God will help them do what's right.
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