Support Staff Extraordinaire
2 Samuel 18:2-4
Verse 3 But the men said, “You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won’t care about us. Even if half of us die, they won’t care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city.”
Now that David had his men prepped and ready it was time for them to march out to meet Absalom and his army. Before he sends them on their way he says, “I should go out with you.” The men all disagreed. These men of military mind knew the dangers of the king going out to war. They knew they were a much smaller army than what was coming their way. They also knew there was no reason the other army wouldn’t be aiming more for the king than anyone else. It would be just too dangerous to allow the king to join them in battle.
Though they were smaller than the approaching army, they weren’t a tiny army. David had divided them in groups of thousands and hundreds so we know there were at least a couple thousand men with them. But these men knew their greatest strength came in whose army they were. David was more important than the whole of the army. They knew him to be God’s chosen leader and they felt it was their duty to protect him at all costs.
They didn’t take away his usefulness or make him feel worthless. Instead they told him they needed him as their support at army headquarters. This may have been a hard moment for David. He was torn in so many different directions. There was the fact his son was trying to kill him. It isn’t out of the question to think David reminisced about Absalom’s childhood and the various things he now regretted about his fathering skills.
David could also have been thinking back to the time he was willing to go to battle against Saul and Jonathan. Saul had been like a father figure to him at one point. There had been good times before Saul allowed his jealousy turn to rage. Saul had also hunted for David to kill him and now his own son was trying to do the same, which could mess with a person’s view of themselves.
As the king watched his troops march out to fight the battle he must have felt the support he had with these men who cared about him. Some of these men had been more like a family to him than his own had been. He had to be humbled by the care they were showing him. He was loved even if it wasn’t by his son.
Making It Personal
When have you needed a support system? Was it only family who stood with you? Are you a friend who sticks with a person during a hard time?
Making It Personal Kids
When you are having a hard day, who do you like to have near? What makes you feel better about having those people in your life? Do you try to be close to others when they are feeling sad?
Father, thank You for placing people in our lives who give us support and for being our greatest support ever. Give us wisdom and compassion so we can be the support for others You have called us to be. In Jesus’ name, amen.