2 Samuel 15:28
See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me."
A Struggle for a CrownSpurgeon, Charles Haddon2 Samuel 15:1-37
Absalom: a StudyS. Cox, D. D.2 Samuel 15:1-37
Absalom; Or, the Fast Young ManA. H. Charlton.2 Samuel 15:1-37
Absalom's RebellionMonday, Club Sermons.2 Samuel 15:1-37
Absalom's RebellionJ. Hall, D. D.2 Samuel 15:1-37
Ambition2 Samuel 15:1-37
An Ungrateful SonJ. R. Campbell.2 Samuel 15:1-37
David and AbsalomG. J. Coster.2 Samuel 15:1-37
The Rebellion of AbsalomC. S. Robinson, D. D.2 Samuel 15:1-37
The Ark Restored to its PlaceB. Dale 2 Samuel 15:23-29

David's character shone most brightly amid the darkness of adversity - in the early struggles and perils, and in these later ones. In these verses we see his superiority to a superstitious dependence on the presence of the ark as ensuring the presence and aid of God. He was thus much in advance of the Israelites, elders and people alike, in the days of Eli (1 Samuel 4:3-5). We take the verses, however, as evidencing David's profound submission to the will of God, and illustrating the nature and excellence of godly resignation.

I. TO WHAT HE WAS RESIGNED. To whatever might be the will of God. To the enjoyment of the Divine favour, or the experience of the Divine displeasure. In particular:

1. To defeat or victory in the contest with his unnatural son; and, as results of one or the other:

2. To the permanent loss or the regaining of his throne.

3. To exile from Jerusalem or return to it.

4. To banishment from the ark and house of God or restoration to them. This is specially referred to in ver. 25:5. To death or life.


1. It was not insensibility or indifference. How much he felt the position in which he was placed is evident from his language here, and his tears and other signs of mourning referred to in ver. 30. Those who do not feel their troubles cannot cherish resignation to them. Troubles which do not trouble require no exercise of submission. Resignation may be most eminently displayed by those who are most susceptible of suffering.

2. It was not a stoical submission to the inevitable. This is better than vain struggles and useless murmurs, but is not godly resignation.

3. Nor did it involve abandonment of all prayer and effort to secure what was felt to be desirable. David, while surrendering himself to the disposal of the Most High, carefully planned and laboured, and was prepared to fight, that he might obtain the victory. Christian resignation is not fatalism.

4. It was trustful, loving submission to whatever might prove to be the will of God. David recognized the hand of God in his adversities, saw that the issue of events would be according to the Divine appointment, and on this account was prepared to acquiesce in it. "Let him do to me as seemeth good unto him."


1. The rightful sovereignty of God. He does rule over all, whether we will or no; and the recognition of his right to rule will much aid in producing willing submission to his will. "You know, my dear," said a poor man to his wife, when they were mourning the loss of a peculiarly interesting and affectionate child, "this family is God's garden, and he has a right to come into it and pluck any flower that pleases him best."

2. His omnipotence. "Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God" (1 Peter 5:6). Because he is almighty, his will must be accomplished; resistance is futile. At the same time, he is almighty to support, to bring good out of evil, and to "exalt in due time" (1 Peter 5:6).

3. His wisdom and goodness. Which assure us that he does not act according to arbitrary choice, but that what "seemeth good unto him" is really good; so that in submitting to him we are acquiescing in our own ultimate well being.

4. Our sinfulness and unworthiness. David was doubtless aided in resigning himself to the will of God by the memory of his heinous sins (comp. Judges 10:15; Nehemiah 9:33; Lamentations 1:18; Lamentations 3:39; Daniel 9:14; Micah 7:9). We deserve more suffering than is inflicted upon us; we merit no good. thing; the more readily, therefore, should we resign ourselves to whatever may be appointed for us.

5. The blessings enjoyed by us or assured to us. The memory of past enjoyments, which tends to embitter present griefs, should nevertheless awaken a gratitude which tends to reconcile us to them. "Shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?" (Job 2:10). The mercies still remaining to us, duly appreciated and acknowledged, will have a similar beneficial effect. The way in which God has led us through past difficulties should strengthen confidence in him, and render us willing to trust him with our future. Specially, if we are Christians indeed, let us keep in mind:

(1) The relation in which we stand towards God, as his children, redeemed, reconciled, renewed; and the childlike spirit which becomes us.

(2) The unspeakable blessings which as Christians we enjoy. Pardon, peace with God, access to him, assurance of his fatherly pity and love, the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, with his special guidance, support, and consolation.

(3) The promises made to us of all needful good (Psalm 84:11; Matthew 6:33); the cooperation of all things for our good (Romans 8:28); the Divine care, sympathy, and support (Psalm 55:22; Hebrews 13:5, 6); and final deliverance from all affliction, and enjoyment of eternal glory - glory far outweighing all present trouble, and prepared for and increased through its right endurance (Revelation 21:4; Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17, 18).

6. The cross of Christ illustrates and enhances all other motives. The love of God in Christ assures us in the darkest hours that he is love, and his ways are love. The sufferings of Jesus as our atoning Saviour make sure to us all spiritual and eternal blessings. His greater sufferings are adapted to reconcile us to our so much lesser ones. In his resignation we have the brightest and most powerful example, and reasons for imitation of it. As our fellow Sufferer we know that he can, and are assured that he does, sympathize with us; and that he is the better able to succour us.

7. The benefits which flow from resignation.

(1) "The peace of God" (Philippians 4:7), and with it strength to endure: power also to do whatever may be possible towards deliverance.

(2) Evidence to our own consciousness that we are the children of God.

(3) Good influence over others. Proof to them of the worth of religion. In conclusion, let us lay to heart that in any case we must suffer affliction. The only question is how and with what results? Shall we suffer in faith and hope and. submission, and thus secure Divine approval, support, and blessing? or shall we suffer impatiently and rebelliously, thus adding to our sufferings, and gaining no blessing from them? "Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker!" (Isaiah 45:9). - G.W.

And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God unto the city.
Taking David's conduct as an example to ourselves, we have brought before us the following truths: —


1. It draws the thoughts away from self. Dwelling on sorrow increases its bitterness. It grows with observation. We concentrate our mind upon a thing until it becomes far larger than it really is.

2. It fills the void in the heart with consolation. Of all subjects religion is the most powerful thing in the world to occupy the attention, and in its presence every temporal affair sinks into the meanest insignificance.

II. — TRUE GODLINESS PLACES GOD'S HONOUR EVER BEFORE SELFISH EASE. When David left the city in flight, Zadok, the High Priest, brought the ark of God to follow the King.

1. David rejected mere outward symbols and signs. The symbolism of the temple had its proper place and use. It was to accomplish a great, and mighty, and mysterious purpose. But if religion has its public representation and form, it has also its private and individual functions as well.

2. God could help him just as welt without the help of priest, or tabernacle, or service as He could with. Time and place are nothing to God. The tears of the prisoner are as precious to him as the orison of a pope. David was very well content to leave himself in the hands of God without any extraneous help.

III. TRUE RELIGION IDENTIFIES MAN'S INTERESTS WITH GOD'S PURPOSES. We learn practically that the part for us to perform is,(1) Passive trust and resignation to the divine will, and(2) Constant faith in God's dealing. David did not for one moment doubt. His trust was unshaken amid all his trouble. "If I find favour in His eyes, He will bring me again, but if not, let Him do to me as seemeth good unto Him." I am content to leave it in His hands.

(David Howell, D. D.)

I. HIS SPIRITUAL MINDEDNESS. He looked beyond the outward symbols to Him who had appointed the use of those symbols as a means of good. "Carry back," he says, "the ark of God into the city." He felt that it alone could do nothing for him in his banishment. Here was spirituality of mind, brought, it may be, into livelier exercise by trial, but evidently forming a part of David's character. And it would be well for us to inquire, How far are we of the same mind with the sweet psalmist of Israel?

II. THE SIMPLICITY OF DAVID'S FAITH. "If I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again and show me both it and His habitation." Here was an unwavering confidence in the power of God to bring good out of evil; and a conviction that if the Lord saw fit He would do so. And here we may mark the peculiar and proper office of faith. It leads to effort; it encourages in duty while it prevents a departure from the way of God's commandments. We beseech you to cultivate more of this spirit, which appeared so conspicuously in the man after God's own heart; view every turn in your history as appointed by the Lord, and seek to have continually a lively apprehension of His overruling providence.

III. DAVID'S HUMBLE RESIGNATION TO THE DIVINE WILL. That Christian is much to be envied, who, happen what may, can exclaim with sincerity of heart, "It is the Lord, let Him do what seemeth Him good"; I desire to acquiesce in the Divine appointments, because "I know in whom I have believed"; I know, that though deep are the water-floods that roll over me, the wisdom of God is deeper than them all. Let us keep in mind, that the sources from whence we look for comfort may become the fruitful springs of bitter anguish. Let us not forget that the most secure of all our earthly comforts are in reality insecure.

(S. Bridge, M. A.)

I. HIS ESTIMATION OF DIVINE MEANS AND ORDINANCES. The ark and the tabernacle were much mere to him than his throne and his palace. And therefore he only mentions these. "Carry back," says he, "the ark of God — if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again" — he will bring me again, ands — "show me both it and his habitation" — the ark and the tabernacle. Not that he undervalued the privilege of a safe return. Religion is not founded on the destruction of humanity. We are not required to contemn the good things of nature and providence.

II. HIS FAITH IN DIVINE PROVIDENCE. David views his defeat or his success, his exile or his return, as suspended entirely on the will of God. He does not balance probabilities. Not that he acted the part of an enthusiast, and despised the use of means. This appears obviously from the measures he devised, especially his employing the counsel of Hushai. David knew it was easy for him to take wisdom from the wise, and courage from the brave; and to confound all his devices. He knelt also that it was equally easy for God to turn again his captivity.

III. He professes a FULL ACQUIESCENCE IN THE DISPOSAL OF THE ALMIGHTY. "But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee: behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good to him." Here are no imprecations of vengeance against seditious subjects, and a rebellious son; no bitter complaints of instruments; no "charging God foolishly"; no "teaching God knowledge." He falls down at his feet wishing to be raised up, but willing to remain. He mourns, but he does not murmur. What helped to produce this disposition in David? There were. two things in himself.(1) The one was — a sense of his own unworthiness. A consciousness of our desert is necessary to our submission under the afflictive dispensations of Providence.(2) The other was — his ignorance. For while the former convinced him that he had no right to choose, this persuaded him that he had no ability.There were also two things in God which aided this acquiescence.(1) First, his sovereignty. "Has he not a right to do what he wilt with his own?(2) Secondly, his goodness. The authority of God awes us, But it is something else that produces the cheerfulness of submission. It is the principle which actuates him — which is love; it is the. end he has in view — which is our profit: It is a belief that, however things may be determined, with regard to our feelings — they "shall all work together for our good." Let us be followers of David in this holy resignation of ourselves to the pleasure of God.

1. It will be very advantageous to yourselves. Now this acquiescence in the will of God is the preparation of the Gospel of peace, with which you are to be shod: Thus prepared, you may travel on through the wilderness. To vary and enlarge the metaphor — impatience turns the rod into a scorpion. While the yoke presses the neck, patience lines it with down; and enables the man to say, It is good for me to bear it.

2. Nothing can be more honourable to religion. To surrender ourselves to the Divine disposal is the purest act of obedience: to subdue our unruly passions is the greatest instance of heroism. It ennobles the possessor. It renders him a striking character.

(W. Jay.)

That is the perfection of a man's nature when his will fits on to God's like one of Euclid's triangles super-imposed upon another, and line for line coincides. When his will allows a free passage to the will of God, without resistance, as light travels through transparent glass; when his will responds to the touch of God's finger upon the keys, like the telegraphic needle to the operator's hand; then man has attained all that God and religion can do for him, all that his nature is capable of.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

In this chapter David and Absalom appear as the embodiments and representatives of two opposite principles of action:-love of power, and love of God. In Absalom you have the one, and in David the rather. The love of power is an element in our spiritual constitution, implanted for benevolent purposes; and when properly directed, like all other native principles, subserves the most important ends. Like fire or water, as a servant it is a great blessing, but as a master, a great curse. When it grows into a passion, ascends the throne, and grasps the sceptre, it puts down conscience, and turns the man into a ruthless tyrant; ever ready to violate all the laws and trample on .all the rights of his species. It has gained this power now in the breast of Absalom; and four evils of character are here developed as the consequence: —

1. Filial rebellion. Inspired by this ambitious impulse, Absalom now east off the authority of David, not only as his sovereign, but as his parent.

2. Mean-spiritedness. In order to gain his ends see what mean manoeuvres he adopts; he rises early in the morning, he goes "beside the way of the gate," where men resorted to have their social disputes settled by the judgment of the king; and here he clandestinely endeavours to undermine his father's authority with the people, and to insinuate himself into their affections. Oh! the weakness of the people to be thus cajoled. Yet it has ever been so. Let a prince shake the people by the hand, as Absalom did, and they will forget their own self-respect, their grievances, and even his tyrannies, and follow him. The people must have a higher moral education" before they can obtain a better govermnent.

3. Religious hypocrisy. Under the pretence of paying a vow which he had promised to render unto the Lord in Hebron. "I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow," &c. (verses 7-9.) Wicked men have often sought and won their wicked ends in the holy name of religion.

4. Underhanded cunning. "And Absalom sent spies throughout all tribes of Israel," &c. (verses 10-12.) In striking and glorious contrast with this, we have the principle of love of God, or spiritual religion, developed in the character of David, before us.


1. That whatever subject has the most power to draw away the mind from itself, will always be effective in supporting it under trials. The depressing influence of a trial depends greatly upon the amount of attention which the man gives to it.

2. Of all subjects, religion has the most power to draw sway the mind from itself. David felt more interest in the ark now than he felt in the loss of his throne, the wreck of his kingdom, the peril of his life. And so the good man ever feels in his religion.


1. He regarded it as personal. If "I shall find favour."

2. He regarded it as being sovereign. If "I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me again."

3. He regarded it as being adequate. If it is agreeable to His rains, "He will bring me again." He has the power to do so. All that is required is His will.

III. THAT SPIRITUAL RELIGION IDENTIFIES MAN'S WILL WITH GOD'S, UNDER TRIAL. But if He thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let Him do to me as seemeth Him good." A thorough surrender of oar being and will to God is the first duty of all intelligences, and the necessary condition of all true progress in power and blessedness.


"Before corn can be ripened it needeth all kinds of weather. The husbandman is glad of showers as well as sunshine; rainy weather is troublesome, but sometimes the season requireth it." Even so the various conditions of man's life are needful to ripen him for the life to come. Sorrows and joys, depressions and exhilarations, have all their part to play in the completion of the Christian character. Were one grief of a believer's career omitted it may be he would never be prepared for heaven: the slightest change might mar the ultimate result. It is our wisdom to believe in the infallible prudence which arranges all the details of a believing life.

( C. H. Spurgeon.)

Not when the sun shines, but when the tern. pest blows and the wind howls about his ears, a man gathers his cloak round him, and cleaves fast to his supporter. The midnight sea lies all black; but when it is cut into by the oar, or divided and churned by the paddle, it flashes up into phosphorescence. And so it is from the tumults and agitations of man's spirit that there is struck out the light of man's faith. There is the bit of flint and the steel that comes hammering against it; and it is the contact of these two that brings out the spark.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

Abiathar, Absalom, Ahimaaz, Ahithophel, Aram, Arkite, Cherethites, David, Gittites, Hushai, Israelites, Ittai, Jonathan, Kerethites, Levites, Pelethites, Zadok
Aram, Gath, Geshur, Giloh, Hebron, Jerusalem, Kidron, Mount of Olives
Across, Announce, Behold, Certify, Declare, Desert, Fords, Inform, News, Plain, Plains, River, Stay, Stop, Tarry, Tarrying, Till, Wait, Waiting, Waste, Wilderness
1. Absalom, by fair speeches and courtesies, steals the hearts of Israel.
7. By pretense of a vow, he obtains leave to go to Hebron
10. He makes there a great conspiracy
13. David upon the news flees from Jerusalem
19. Ittai will leave him
24. Zadok and Abiathar are sent back with the ark
30. David and his company go up mount Olivet weeping,
31. He curses Ahithophel's counsel
32. Hushai is sent back with instructions

Dictionary of Bible Themes
2 Samuel 15:28

     5977   waiting

2 Samuel 15:25-29

     5088   David, character

A Loyal Vow
'And the king's servants said unto the king, Behold, thy servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the king shall appoint.'--2 SAMUEL xv. 15. We stand here at the darkest hour of King David's life. Bowed down by the consciousness of his past sin, and recognising in the rebellion of his favourite son the divine chastisement, his early courage and buoyant daring seem to have ebbed from him wholly. He is forsaken by the mass of his subjects, he is preparing to abandon Jerusalem, and to flee as an
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Ittai of Gath
'And Ittai answered the king, and said, As the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be.'--2 SAMUEL xv. 21. It was the darkest hour in David's life. No more pathetic page is found in the Old Testament than that which tells the story of his flight before Absalom. He is crushed by the consciousness that his punishment is deserved--the bitter fruit of the sin that filled all his later life
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Pardoned Sin Punished
'And It came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2. And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. 3. And Absalom said unto him. See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Loyal to the Core
On the other hand, look at Ittai, perfectly free to go, but in order to end the controversy once for all, and to make David know that he does not mean to leave him, he takes a solemn oath before Jehovah his God, and he doubles it by swearing by the life of David that he will never leave him; in life, in death, he will be with him. He has cast in his lot with him for better and for worse, and he means to be faithful to the end. Old Master Trapp says, "All faithful friends went on a pilgrimage years
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 26: 1880

Following Christ
"And Ittai answered the king, and said, as the Lord liveth, and as my lord the king liveth, surely in what place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will thy servant be."--2 Samuel 15:21. SOME men have a very remarkable power of creating and sustaining friendship in others. David was a man brimming over with affection--a man, notwithstanding all his rough soldier-life, of an exceedingly tender heart--a man, I was about to say--the word was on my tongue--a man of vast
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 62: 1916

The Will of God
"Here am I, let Him do to me as seemeth good unto Him."--2 Sam. xv. 26. G. Ter Steegen. tr., Emma Frances Bevan, 1899 Thou sweet beloved Will of God, My anchor ground, my fortress hill, The Spirit's silent fair abode, In Thee I hide me and am still. O Will, that willest good alone, Lead Thou the way, Thou guidest best; A silent child, I follow on, And trusting, lean upon Thy Breast. God's Will doth make the bitter sweet, And all is well when it is done; Unless His Will doth hallow it, The glory
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen and Others (Second Series)

A Light to Lighten the Gentiles
P. G. 2 Sam. xv. 19-22; John xii. 26 "Wherefore goest thou with me?" Said the king disowned-- Said the king despised, rejected, Disenthroned. "Go, return unto thy place, To thy king of yore-- Here a pilgrim and a stranger, Nothing more. "Not for thee the cities fair, Hills of corn and wine-- All was portioned ere thou camest, Nought is thine. "Wandering forth where'er I may, Exiled from mine own, Shame, rejection I can grant thee; That alone. "Turn and take thy brethren back, With thy people
Frances Bevan—Hymns of Ter Steegen, Suso, and Others

The Daily Walk with Others (iii. ).
Thrice happy they who at Thy side, Thou Child of Nazareth, Have learnt to give their struggling pride Into Thy hands to death: If thus indeed we lay us low, Thou wilt exalt us o'er the foe; And let the exaltation be That we are lost in Thee. Let me say a little on a subject which, like the last, is one of some delicacy and difficulty, though its problems are of a very different kind. It is, the relation between the Curate and his Incumbent; or more particularly, the Curate's position and conduct
Handley C. G. Moule—To My Younger Brethren

And V the Kingdom Undivided and the Kingdom Divided
THE HISTORICAL BOOKS: I and II Samuel. I and II Kings. I and II Chronicles. NOTE.--As these three pairs of books are so closely related in their historical contents, it is deemed best to study them together, though they overlap the two divisions of IV and V. I. CHARTS Chart A. General Contents +--+ " I AND II SAMUEL " +-------------+-----+------+ "Samuel "Saul "David " +-------------+-----+------+----------+ " " " " I AND II KINGS "NOTE.--Biblical
Frank Nelson Palmer—A Bird's-Eye View of the Bible

That Whereas the City of Jerusalem had Been Five Times Taken Formerly, this was the Second Time of Its Desolation. A Brief Account of Its History.
1. And thus was Jerusalem taken, in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, on the eighth day of the month Gorpeius [Elul]. It had been taken five [34] times before, though this was the second time of its desolation; for Shishak, the king of Egypt, and after him Antiochus, and after him Pompey, and after them Sosius and Herod, took the city, but still preserved it; but before all these, the king of Babylon conquered it, and made it desolate, one thousand four hundred and sixty-eight years and
Flavius Josephus—The Wars of the Jews or History of the Destruction of Jerusalem

King of Kings and Lord of Lords
And He hath on His vesture and on His thigh a name written, K ING OF K INGS AND L ORD OF L ORDS T he description of the administration and glory of the Redeemer's Kingdom, in defiance of all opposition, concludes the second part of Messiah Oratorio. Three different passages from the book of Revelation are selected to form a grand chorus, of which Handel's title in this verse is the close --a title which has been sometimes vainly usurped by proud worms of this earth. Eastern monarchs, in particular,
John Newton—Messiah Vol. 2

Alike from the literary and the historical point of view, the book[1] of Samuel stands midway between the book of Judges and the book of Kings. As we have already seen, the Deuteronomic book of Judges in all probability ran into Samuel and ended in ch. xii.; while the story of David, begun in Samuel, embraces the first two chapters of the first book of Kings. The book of Samuel is not very happily named, as much of it is devoted to Saul and the greater part to David; yet it is not altogether inappropriate,
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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