It is interesting to draw parallels between Absalom pursuing David and 2 Samuel 17 and the way that Saul chased David around earlier in his life.
2Sa 17:1 Moreover Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Let me now choose out twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David this night:
2Sa 17:2 And I will come upon him while he is weary and weak handed, and will make him afraid: and all the people that are with him shall flee; and I will smite the king only:
This immediately made me think of all the opportunities David had to kill Saul. Saul was weary and sleeping when David had the opportunity to strike him down, but David did not do that. Something tells me that if the same situation came up with Ahithophel finding David asleep, David would not survive the encounter. That is one definite contrast.
Moving on from that, as I already somewhat mentioned, it was interesting to see David on the run again. At this point in his life, he had already been a highly successful king. He has proven himself to be a mighty warrior, and everything seemed to be going his way. Now, it seemed as if everything was against him.
However, on the positive side, he did have a few supporters in Israel, and they were willing to help him in his moment of need.
2Sa 17:27 And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,
2Sa 17:28 Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentiles, and parched pulse,
2Sa 17:29 And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of kine, for David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness.
God uses people at different points in our lives to help us out when we need it. We don’t always know when that will happen, and we do not always know how those people will help us, but we need to be grateful for the help. Even in our worst situations, we can still take time to be grateful.
Deuteronomy chapter two is interesting because the wandering could have stopped at any time. God could have had the Israelites displace the children of Esau. After all, God certainly has enough power to do whatever He wants.
However, God had already given parcel of land to those people, and He knew that He had a specific place for the Israelites.
Deu 2:4 And command thou the people, saying, Ye are to pass through the coast of your brethren the children of Esau, which dwell in Seir; and they shall be afraid of you: take ye good heed unto yourselves therefore:
Deu 2:5 Meddle not with them; for I will not give you of their land, no, not so much as a foot breadth; because I have given mount Seir unto Esau for a possession.
Then people must have wondered where God was taking them. If God was so powerful, why couldn’t He just help them stop now and stop this bothersome wandering? 40 years is a long time to spend in the desert.
I think that we have all been in this situation at one time or another. Times might get tough, and we wonder where we are supposed to be. Are we actually going in the right direction?
There are a few answers that God has for this question, and one is right here in Deuteronomy 2.
Deu 2:7 For the LORD thy God hath blessed thee in all the works of thy hand: he knoweth thy walking through this great wilderness: these forty years the LORD thy God hath been with thee; thou hast lacked nothing.
Mat 6:25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
Mat 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Whenever we wonder where we might be or where we are supposed to be, God has the answer. He will provide for us and help us anything that comes our way.
Welcome to Numbers chapter 1. Right in the first chapter, we are already dealing with numbers as God commands Moses to take a census of all men who are over 20 years old and therefore eligible for military service.
I don’t want to simply list all of the numbers for you, but here is the total number of men that were at least 20 years old in Israel at this time.
Num 1:45 So were all those that were numbered of the children of Israel, by the house of their fathers, from twenty years old and upward, all that were able to go forth to war in Israel;
Num 1:46 Even all they that were numbered were six hundred thousand and three thousand and five hundred and fifty.
Num 1:47 But the Levites after the tribe of their fathers were not numbered among them.
The tribe of Levi was not included because they were priests, and they were not supposed to go to war. However, there were 603,550 in Israel at this time without the Levites counted. After that, if we assume that the population was half men and half women which is probably approximately correct, there would be about 1.2 million people over 20 years old in Israel at that time.
Beyond that, we haven’t even thought about how many people were under 20 years old at that time. I’m not even going to try to estimate that, but we can safely assume that there were well over 1.5 million people in the nation of Israel at this time.
I think that this makes God’s provision even more amazing. It wasn’t like God just taking care of 10 people in the wilderness. There were presumably at least 1.5 million people in the wilderness at this time, and if I was told I needed to take care of that many people, I would be overwhelmed.
That is the amazing thing about God. He never gets overwhelmed, and He can do anything.
Luk 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
When God sees our problems, it is no problem for Him. That is definitely a comforting thought to start today with.
In Exodus chapter 16, I thought that there is a very interesting parallel between the children of Israel collecting manna and the Feeding of the 5000.
Let me start with the passage from Exodus.
Exo 16:16 This is the thing which the LORD hath commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take ye every man for them which are in his tents.
Exo 16:17 And the children of Israel did so, and gathered, some more, some less.
Exo 16:18 And when they did mete it with an omer, he that gathered much had nothing over, and he that gathered little had no lack; they gathered every man according to his eating.
Of course, people are not necessarily identical, so when people gathered in different amounts of manna, nobody was lacking. Everyone was satisfied with the outcome.
Similarly, when Jesus performed His miracle and fed 5000 people, everyone was satisfied.
Mat 14:17 And they say unto him, We have here but five loaves, and two fishes.
Mat 14:18 He said, Bring them hither to me.
Mat 14:19 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the grass, and took the five loaves, and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven, he blessed, and brake, and gave the loaves to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
Mat 14:20 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the fragments that remained twelve baskets full.
Mat 14:21 And they that had eaten were about five thousand men, beside women and children.
I think that what we can draw from these two stories is that God provides for people. In fact, when we have taken the time that we should and really realize everything that God has provided us with, we can be satisfied.
If we try to be entirely satisfied with all of this stuff that we can purchase in the store, we’re definitely going to be disappointed. All of our earthly possessions are limited. However, we are given the assurance that the things of God will bring the satisfaction.
Psa 145:16 Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.
Psa 81:10 I am the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt: open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it.
Overall, when we rely on God, we can be satisfied. It is important to remember that satisfaction is one of those things without we cannot provide by ourselves. God is the giver of that gift.