Reading: “And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.” 2 Samuel 15:13
Humanity, at times, is one big letdown. What disappointing news for a father to hear that his son has turned against him. Absalom’s name signifies “the peace of his father,” yet he proves to be one of David’s greatest troubles. Matthew Henry reminds us, “Let not parents raise their hopes too high from their children, lest they be disappointed.” It is striking to note that while Absalom “stole the hearts of the men of Israel,” all the Cherethites, Pelethites, and Gittites remained steadfast to David. There is here a foreshadowing of Christ, for whereas the Jewish nation despised and rejected Him, yet God’s elect among the Gentiles have not been ashamed to be His followers. Many were prepared to follow David in his exaltation, but not so many in his humiliation.
And if the betrayal of his own son wasn’t enough, David also had to endure the treachery of his once trusted advisor Ahithophel. Of him, David would write in Psalm 55:12–13, “For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it: neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, and mine acquaintance.”
How often had David’s hopes been dashed! At last he utters in Psalm 62:5, “My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.” This chapter illustrates the fact that we can and will be let down by our nearest and dearest at times. We will be let down by those from whom we least expect it. The letdowns that we experience are the Lord’s signposts to turn our expectation away from the creature back to Himself, the Creator who will never fail us. Don’t expect from men what can be expected only from God.
I read of a Christian who said, “I used to have many disappointments, until I changed one letter of the word and chopped it in two, so that instead of ‘disappointments’ I read it ‘his appointments.’” —C. H. Spurgeon