2 Samuel 15:23-24
Verse 23 The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the wilderness.
We need to put this scene into perspective. It wasn’t just 10-20 people moving out of the area, the Philistines alone numbered over 600. This was an event of large proportions with many outside of the palace joining the mass exit. Yet there were those who were not going and were heartbroken by the exodus of those they considered dear.
The fact they were weeping aloud shows the level of the mourning which was going on because of the king leaving. But it wasn’t just the king and their loved ones who were going down to cross the Kidron Valley, the people staying in Jerusalem were watching the Ark of God leaving the city as well. The article which was to represent God in their presence was leaving them. To them this was more than an exit of many people, they were feeling deserted by the God of heaven.
Sure they hadn’t always held true to God and His laws but when it came down to it, they didn’t want to lose Him. To be rejected by God was more than they could take, even though some of these very people may have been supporters of Absalom. The nation was once again being torn in two and God couldn’t be on both sides.
The people walking in the parade of exodus made their way down to the Kidron Valley to cross the brook towards the Mount of Olives before continuing on into the wilderness. The priests with them set down the Ark of the Covenant and built an altar and burnt sacrifices on it until the whole of the group had exited the city. The people back in the city would have seen the sacrifice and may have smelled the aroma and seen that as further evidence God had left them along with their king and priests.
David would have heard this wailing and known it was, at least in part, done by those who no longer wanted him as their king. Some of those voices had been among those singing his praises years before when King Saul had been on the throne. It would be hard on him to know he had fallen out of favor with some of his countrymen, but the king may have taken some comfort that from his understanding, he hadn’t fallen out of favor with God.
Making It Personal
Have you ever felt divided between God and your friends? Who did you end up siding with? What are the benefits of siding with God even at the cost of friendships?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever felt like you had to choose between Jesus and a friend? Who did you choose? Why is it better to choose Jesus than a friend?
Father, how Your heart must break when we choose the favor of the world over Your choices for us. Give us hearts which long to remain close to You even if it means losing relationship with those we care about. In Jesus’ name, amen.