May 28, II Samuel 15:13-37
Something significant has happened to David in the years since Bathsheba. Now with Absolom marching with an army to Jerusalem David flees. There is no account that he sought God before leaving. He has an army of sorts, his standing army under Joab may not be available but he's leaving with nearly a thousand people, certainly that number could defend Jerusalem. Perhaps he's not willing yet to start a civil war but I think it deeper. David as a lad had a deep relationship with God, he could boldly face a giant with just a sling but now that boldness and the relationship is gone. He's behaving more like a politician relying on people than on God. He's left behind concubines, the priests and former advisors partly for the purpose to be spies. The text says that David ascended barefoot with his head covered, it seems more like ritual than real worship. I occasionally hear stories of people doing strange things trying to manipulate God, walking miles barefoot, or on their knees. Shaving their heads or not shaving for months. It's not about ritual, the scriptures plainly tell us what God wants. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Micah puts it best, no-one can walk sinless but we can try, this should be our lives. To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.