English: The Death of Absalom (2Sam. 18:1-15) Русский: Смерть Авессалома (2Цар. 18:1-15) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Sometimes you may be tempted to think that you can do other people’s jobs better than them. If you have the privilege of leading a team of workers you might have caught some members of the team wishing they were given “that other assignment” because “they feel they can do it better” than the person doing it. You can have situations where someone becomes bold enough to confront you, to know why he is not given the other person’s assignment. This article deals with issues of such nature and how to handle it. It is a great lesson for everyone who wants to make a mark in life.
The scripture says, “Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run now and take the news to the king, how the Lord has avenged him of his enemies.” And Joab said to him, “You shall not take the news this day, for you shall take the news another day. But today you shall take no news, because the king’s son is dead.” Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” So the Cushite bowed himself to Joab and ran. And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “But whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.” So Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, since you have no news ready?” “But whatever happens,” he said, “let me run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain, and outran the Cushite.” 2 Sam 18:19-23 (NKJV)
There was war in Israel after Absalom deposed David as king. When Absalom gained control of considerable followers in his scheme to become the king of Israel, David fled but the followers of Absalom advised him to confront him in a battle and there was war. It turned out that that the army of Absalom was defeated and he was killed on the battle field. Joab, the commander of David’s forces wanted to inform David of the events of the day and the outcome. Joab had men who were trained to run errands about warfare that Israel was engaged in.
Joab decided to send the Cushite who was trained for such an errand; however, Ahimaaz felt he can do a better job than the Cushite. Joab reminded him that he was not the right person for this assignment but Ahimaaz insisted he must do the job. After what seemed like a long argument over this, Joab gave him the permission to go. The following was the outcome
“Now David was sitting between the two gates. And the watchman went up to the roof over the gate, to the wall, lifted his eyes and looked, and there was a man, running alone. Then the watchman cried out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is news in his mouth.” And he came rapidly and drew near.
Then the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “There is another man, running alone!”
And the king said, “He also brings news.”
So the watchman said, “I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.”
And the king said, “He is a good man, and comes with good news.”
So Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “All is well!” Then he bowed down with his face to the earth before the king, and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!”
The king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”
Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.”
And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.” 2 Sam. 18:24 -30. (NKJV)
Ahimaaz had a good run. He out-ran the Cushite and got to David first; David was glad to receive him and wanted to know what the News was.
Ahimaaz said “So Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “All is well!” Then he bowed down with his face to the earth before the king, and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!” The king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.”
That was a disaster! Ahimaaz failed in his mission to deliver the total News; he said “I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.” It was the moment of truth for him; he was in another man’s race. Ahimaaz was not the right messenger when it comes to details. The words of Joab must have play back in his mind to his dismay but it was too late. You might be familiar with a scene like this. It is common in our competitive world; in politics, at home, in the office, to name a few; where some people run other people down for all kinds of reasons. There are many people who are more interested in getting attention; getting a job or being the “leader”; more than doing the job.
When people run the race that is not meant for them (by training or destiny), they end up in shame. They frustrate everyone and get turned away. You can imagine the embarrassment it could have been if Joab had committed the whole assignment to him. A leader must not commit his important projects to “loud talkers”. He must be careful to discern schemers. They talk about cost saving but end up pilling up more bills for the organisation. They build up division and cracks and spend their time developing cover-up.
The end of the story is like this:
“Just then the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “There is good news, my lord the king! For the Lord has avenged you this day of all those who rose against you.”
And the king said to the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”
So the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise against you to do harm, be like that young man!”
Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” 2 Kings18:31-33 (NKJV)
The Cushite delivered as expected and the job was done. The scripture said “Then the King was moved”. In spiritual things you can only make an eternal impact in a Holy Spirit commissioned assignment. God has assignment for every one of us. We must not despise the “little job” for the “big” ones. God knows what he can use us for. We don’t have the right to question God about what he has asked other people to do. Nebuchadnezzar learnt some lessons about this during his crisis.
“And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:
For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” Daniel 4:34-35 (NKJV)
This is the time to turn to God in humility and ask him for his will for our lives. Paul did this in Acts 9:6. “So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
It is not in our power to decide who God uses for what. Acts 13:1-3, says, “Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.” (NKJV) It was a divine choice and the Lord did not give any reason for choosing them. They were the right men for that assignment. It was not because they were better Christians than the others.
We should obey the Lord and commit ourselves to our duties; whatever it is God has asked us to do. 2 Cor.10:12, says, “For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (NKJV)