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The Daily Word of Righteousness
The Mountains of Bashan, #10
And Joab said unto him, Thou shalt not bear tidings this day, but thou shalt bear tidings another day: but this day thou shalt bear no tidings, because the king's son is dead. Then said Joab to Cushi, Go tell the king what thou hast seen. And Cushi bowed himself unto Joab, and ran. (II Samuel 18:20,21)
Joab rightly decided that Ahimaaz, a distinguished Israelite and favorite of King David, would not be a suitable messenger to bring to David the tragic news concerning his son, Absalom. Instead Joab selected a Cushite, an Ethiopian, to carry the news of victory in battle and the death of Absalom.
Notice (previous essay) that Ahimaaz understood Absalom was dead.
The faithful Cushite started toward Mahanaim with the report from the forest of Ephraim.
The mountains of Bashan in Ahimaaz began to leap. Here was an opportunity to be grasped, a chance to receive the glory of bearing to the king the news of victory. Ahimaaz implored Joab to let him go also.
Ahimaaz did not consider the effect of his personal ambition on the Cushite, who was diligently carrying out his responsibility.
Self-serving people are so set on exalting themselves they do not consider the feelings of the people they step on during their climb to the heights.
But God does!
Then said Ahimaaz the son of Zadok yet again to Joab, But howsoever, let me, I pray thee, also run after Cushi. And Joab said, Wherefore wilt thou run, my son, seeing that thou hast no tidings ready? (II Samuel 18:22)
Joab consented, against his better judgment. In his frenzy to bring the tidings of the victory, Ahimaaz passed the Cushite. No doubt the Cushite was an experienced runner. Ahimaaz also was a distinguished runner and could be identified at a distance by his style.
And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings. (II Samuel 18:27)
"Bashan," the lover of preeminence, had succeeded in "taking the kingdom by force." One wonders what the faithful Cushite thought as the ambitious Ahimaaz passed him. How many times in the history of the world has some faithful servant gone about his business, only to be put in the background by a "star" who was seeking his own aggrandizement? Without doubt the number is legion.
Absalom called out the news of the victory to David. He then fell on his face and congratulated the king on the defeat of his foes.
Of course, David asked immediately about Absalom. The mountain of Bashan, in typical fashion, desiring not to be associated with anything except success and exaltation, professed ignorance concerning the fate of Absalom.
And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was. (II Samuel 18:29)
This was a lie. The mountains of Bashan often lie to further their personal ambitions.
Then the steadfast Cushite arrived and told the king the truth—just as he had been commissioned to do.
To be continued.