Loyalty Under Assault
2 Samuel 16
1.The manipulation of Ziba
2 And the king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink.” 3 And the king said, “And where is your master’s son?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.’” 4 Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” And Ziba said, “I pay homage; let me ever find favor in your sight, my lord the king.” 2 Samuel 16:2-4 (ESV)
26 He answered, “My lord, O king, my servant deceived me, for your servant said to him, ‘I will saddle a donkey for myself, that I may ride on it and go with the king.’ For your servant is lame. 27 He has slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the angel of God; do therefore what seems good to you. 2 Samuel 19:26-27 (ESV)
Ziba represents those who feign loyalty to authority simply to promote their own agenda. Matthew 15:8; Romans 16:18; Romans 12:9.
2. The defamation of Shimei
6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left.
7 And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! 8 The LORD has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.” 2 Samuel 16:6-8 (ESV)
Shemei represents those who cast aspersions, judgments of character and motives, inconclusive accusations, and other venom for the purpose of painting a negative picture to the naïve and gullible and causing pain to the one targeted, while claiming all the time to speak for God. Proverbs 16:27-28
3. The retaliation of Abishai
9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” . . . 12 It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today.” . . . 2 Samuel 16:9-14 (ESV)
Abishai represents those who may have good intentions in their support, but their response is not in accordance with God’s revealed will, and so their loyalty is not pure.
Luke 9:51-56; Romans 12:19
4. The betrayal of Ahithophel
20 Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your counsel. What shall we do?” 21 Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house, and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” . . . 23 Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom. 2 Samuel 16:20-23 (ESV)
Ahithophel represents those who are the most damaging of opponents, in that their consciences are seared so that the only rule they follow is “whatever it practically takes to get the job done.” Leviticus 20:11; Proverbs 3:3; Matthew 5:8