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The Greatest Questions of the Bible and of Life
Is the Young Man Safe? (8 of 18)
Clarence E. Macartney
2 Samuel 18:32
It was sunrise in the wild mountain country across the
Jordan. In front of the fortress of Mahanaim, the king
of Israel, David, driven out of his capital by the
rebellion of Absalom, stood to review his troops as
they marched toward the field of battle. There were
three divisions of veteran soldiers: one under
Abishai, another under Ittai, and the third under the
captain of the host, Joab himself. The earth shook
beneath the tread of these thousands of armed men.
Trumpets sounded, flags and pennants streamed in the
morning wind, helmet and shield and spear flashed in
the bright sunlight. As each division came abreast of
David, it halted to salute the king. Before it passed
on David said a word to each commander. That word was
this: "Deal gently for my sake with the young man,
even with Absalom." Then the trumpets spoke once more,
and the army marched on toward the battle, leaving
behind it a cloud of dust. Soon the army with its
three divisions vanished into the wood of Ephraim.
All day long David paced up and down before the
fortress, refusing meat and drink and conversation
with his officers and guard, for his heart was in the
great battle raging in the wood of Ephraim. At length
the watchman on top of the tower above David reported
a runner approaching in the distance. The runner was
Ahimaaz, who had started after Joab had sent the first
and official runner Cushi with dispatches for the king
and tidings of the battle. When the runner drew near
to David he called out, "Blessed be the Lord thy God,
which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their
hand against my lord the king." But that was not what
the king was thinking about; that was not what he
wanted to know. What he was thinking about, and what
was on his heart, was the fate of Absalom. So he said
to Ahimaaz, "Is t ...
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