These last few post have been looking at 2 Samuel 18 and what we can learn in this chapter to help us be better people and to be more teachable in life. Let us finish this by looking at the last part of this chapter.
The war is over and now David needs to be told about Absalom his rebelious son dying – look at verse 19 and following: 19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Please let me run and bring the king news that the Lord has freed him from the hand of his enemies.” 20 But Joab said to him, “You are not the man to carry news this day, but you shall carry news another day; however, you shall carry no news today because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” So the Cushite bowed to Joab and ran. 22 Now Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said once more to Joab, “But whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why would you run, my son, since you will have no reward for going?” 23 “But whatever happens,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and passed up the Cushite.
Joab is trying to protect Ahimaaz by getting the Cushite to take the news to David because David has a tendency to kill the messenger who brings bad news. Even though they won the war there is really no good way of telling David that his son is dead. Ahimaaz is like one of those people who wants to be important and involved in everything but really had no reason to be but he annoys Joab to the point where he lets him run with the news after the Cushite and passes him.
Here is the thing – some people just want to be involved because they think it is their calling to be involved in everything that happens but that is not the case. People who want to be involved in everything either do not trust God or the leaders or they are just nosy – in any case it is sinful and wrong. There are people who are called to be involved in things and Ahimaaz did not have that call here.
Let us look at what happens: 24 Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went up to the roof of the gate by the wall, and raised his eyes and looked, and behold, a man running by himself. 25 The watchman called and told the king. And the king said, “If he is by himself there is good news in his mouth.” And he came nearer and nearer. 26 Then the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “Behold, another man running by himself.” And the king said, “This one also is bringing good news.” 27 The watchman said, “I think the running of the first one is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “This is a good man and comes with good news.”
So David is now waiting and expecting good news from Ahimaaz! Let us continue: 28 Ahimaaz called and said to the king, “All is well.” And he prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground. And he said, “Blessed is the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who lifted their hands against my lord the king.” 29 The king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant, and your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was.” 30 Then the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.
So what do we see here? Ahimaaz for sure knew that Absalom was dead because Joab said it verse 20 but he lied to protect himself which was sinful! He also said “All is well” when he knew it was not for David. He took no time to figure out what he was going to say while running to tell the king – all he came up with was that there was a commotion and he did not know what it was. We see is Ahimaaz was a messenger without a truthful message. That is like many in the believers in Christ these days – they are messengers but yet they do not share the truth of message of Christ because they do not want to be considered closed minded and so they lie to people and show their lack of courage! We are to be sharing the truth of Jesus constantly and consistently with others! All of us are messengers – we are to share the truth message of Christ with all!
Here at the end of the chapter we read: 31 Behold, the Cushite arrived, and the Cushite said, “Let my lord the king receive good news, for the Lord has freed you this day from the hand of all those who rose up against you.” 32 Then the king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “Let the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be as that young man!” 33 The king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
The Cushite shows up and shares the whole message – even the painful truth. Since being in ministry I have had to be the bearer of bad news. Each time I prayed and thought and tried putting myself in the person’s spot who was hearing the news. I would do my best to say what I had to so that the person understood with the least amount of hurt – I wanted to tell the truth in love. That is what the Cushite did. Someone has defined “tact” as the knack of making a point without making an enemy. The Cushite had tact here – he was able to tell David about Absalom in a gentle way. Do you have tact? Can you make a point without making an enemy? We all need to practice having more tact with each other because tact is a part of being teachable.
How would you define tact? Do you feel you have tact? Why or Why not?