2 Samuel 18:19-33
Ahimaaz, the son of the priest, Zadok, begged Joab to let him take the news to the king that his enemies were defeated. Joab told him no that he didn’t want him to take the message today since Absalom was dead. Joab most likely feared David would be upset at his son’s death and might blame the messenger in his grief. Instead, Joab sent a Cushite, a foreigner, who was probably his servant.
The Cushite took off running but Ahimaaz begged to at least be allowed to go and finally Joab gave in. Ahimaaz ran so fast, he outran the Cushite. The city watchman came and told the king that 2 men were coming and he thought the first was Ahimaaz. King David was pleased and said that Ahimaaz was a good man so he must have good news. When Ahimaaz arrived he told the king that all was well, his enemies had been defeated and Ahimaaz praised God. The king then asked about his son. Ahimaaz answered that he had not seen what had happened to Absalom. Then the Cushite arrived. He said that he had good news, that they had won the battle. When David asked about Absalom, the Cushite said, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise against you to do harm, be like that young man.”
David knew that meant Absalom was dead. While I’m sure he was relieved that the rebellion was ended, all he could focus on was the loss of his son. He went alone to a room and cried.
Have you heard the expression ‘can’t see the forest for the trees?’ King David was having this problem. The personal loss of losing a son made it hard for him to see the victory for his nation. Grief is okay and necessary but we must be careful not to get so focused on our personal situation that we neglect the people around us. Take care of yourself, but don’t be selfish and neglect others in the process.
When does taking care of ourselves cross into selfishness? Can you think of an example? (Example: We need to eat to nourish ourselves, but when we have a full meal and our friend has nothing, we are selfish for not sharing what we have.)