Where Is Thy God?
My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me; while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God? (Read II Samuel 13-18).
David was going through some of the darkest days of his life. The family he loved and cared for was disintegrating, his kingdom broken by betrayal and he himself was on the run. David was escaping from the act of vengeance Absalom was taking upon him––after the rape of his sister, Tamar. Adding to his misery, David was continually badgered by those who mockingly asked, “Where is thy God?” David’s counselor, Ahithophel, was planning to rebel against the king. David prayed that God would “turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness” (II Samuel 15:31).
Ahithophel was asked to recommend the first steps to be taken to secure control of the kingdom. Absalom was told to pitch a tent on the roof of the palace and publicly be seen having sexual relations with David’s concubines. By committing open immorality, Absalom would accomplish two things. He would cause a permanent division between David and himself and Absalom’s comrades and followers would be fortified, realizing there would be no turning back (II Samuel 16:22).
Ahithopel approached his master, Absalom, with another recommendation. He wanted the freedom to select twelve thousand men who would pursue and kill David that very night (II Samuel 17:1). This quick thinking action was important to catch David while he was “weary and weak” (II Samuel 17:2). David was emotionally and physically strained. Some might call it, “letting down your guard.” Absalom and the leaders of Israel had become so corrupt they saw the death of David as the right or lawful thing to do.
David was given the opportunity to gather strength and reorganize his men making the defeat of Absalom inevitable. Unwilling to face the consequences of his actions, Ahithopel in shame and despair, took his own life by hanging. And when Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his household in order, and hanged himself, and died, and was buried in the sepulchre of his father (II Samuel 17:23). A greater King, from the house of David, would be betrayed by a traitor ten centuries later. This traitor would die at his own hands with a rope around his neck .Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he
cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself (Matthew: 27:3-5).
David gives orders that they are to save the life of his son but Absalom is killed while hanging by his head in a great oak tree. The news of the victory is given to David along with the message of the death of his son. David is deeply moved and in great sorrow withdraws himself entering the chamber over the gate. King David is overwhelmed with grief and laments the death of his son crying out, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son! (II Samuel 18:33b). Even though Absalom had caused a considerable amount of pain and despair in David’s life, David becomes preoccupied with the loss of his son. David showed weakness as a father in dealing with the sins of his family which gives us a sense of warning about the distressing and debilitating results of sin.
Thought: God is in control of every circumstance––good or bad! Do not think that God is not around when the going gets tough. God is always at work despite the outward appearance of the situation. Things looked hard for David and you can feel his pain as you listen to his cries, Psalms 42:3 and 43:2 My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God? Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. David, despite his circumstances and suffering, learned to have a deeper trust in God. Circumstances should not drive you away from God but to Him. David’s problems did not drive a wedge between him and his God but they became a means for a deeper and richer fellowship with God. That may not always be an easy thing to do, but the benefits are eternal.
“One night a man had a dream. He dreamed he was walking along the beach with the Lord. Across the sky flashed scenes from his life. For each scene, he noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to him and the other to the Lord.
When the last scene of this life flashed before him, he look back at the footprints. He also noticed that it happened at the very lowest and saddest times of his life. This really bothered him, and he questioned the Lord about it, ‘Lord, You said that once I decided to follow You, You would walk with me all the way. But I have noticed that during the most troublesome times in my life, there is only one set of footprints. I don’t understand why, when I needed You most, You would leave me.’
The Lord replied,’My precious, precious child, I love you and I would never leave you. During your times of trial and suffering, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.’”
Know this, your God is always there for you, you are never alone.