WHEN THE WOLF HOWLS – Chapter 65

Posted: February 20, 2016 in Chapter 65, When the Wolf Howls
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WHEN THE WOLF HOWLS

Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 65

Though this was the moment for which he had waited, Absalom still felt betrayed and angry. It was a little less dramatic than he had expected. His father, the king, had not been willing to stand up to him and fight. The city had been evacuated of his followers. Today you may flee for your life, but sooner or later you will pay, father, Absalom thought. One day you will be humiliated as you have humiliated me. You will not get away so easily.

For now, Absalom was content to go to the palace, accompanied by the cheers of the people; his people. The celebration would go on for many days.

His men searched the palace thoroughly. No-one was left in ambush. Ten of David’s concubines who had been assigned by David to look after the palace were incarcerated. For the moment, I will trust no-one. Some of their rooms were set aside for Tamar who was installed immediately.

Twenty of Absalom’s best men were sent out as spies into the city to discover David’s whereabouts. “Bring me anyone who even smells suspicious.” A list of the most likely problem people was drawn up and he would determine whether or not they were still in Jerusalem. Then and only then would he succumb to the celebrations.

But Absalom was still not satisfied. Rage still ate away at him from the inside. He had the hearts of the men of Israel but his own heart burned with the smouldering coals of malice. When he discovered that Zadok and Abiathar were still in the city, his suspicions were aroused. They were asked to report to Absalom immediately.

Priests in charge of the temple, Zadok and Abiathar left their sons and the Levites to fulfil their duties as they came and bowed respectfully before Absalom who now sat on David’s throne. After the formalities were observed, Absalom spoke first and got to the point, “I expected that you would have taken the ark and fled with my father? Why are you still here.”

Zadok replied, “We thought that we might be expected to go also, so we had the Levites take the ark to king David. We warned him that the Lord may place a curse on him as He did with the Philistines if he were to take the ark from Jerusalem.

He instructed us to return the ark to the temple and escape from the city as quickly as we could because you would surely kill us by the sword. But we know you to be a man of justice, my lord. We have decided that we should remain where we belong, in the service of the Lord. We are needed here to attend to the sacrifices.”

It was verified by some of the spies who had been left in the city that the ark had been taken from the temple by the Levites and then returned.

Absalom had no time for priests and had a superstitious fear of the Ark of the Covenant. “Return to the temple. I will offer sacrifices of thanksgiving to the Lord in the sight of all the people left in Jerusalem, of course, but in the meantime, you will keep watch and report to me of anything suspicious. Otherwise, stay out of my sight.” The priests returned quickly to the temple, satisfied that they had not aroused too much suspicion. Absalom had them watched as they expected.

The words of king David were imprinted in Zadok’s memory as they returned to the temple, “You are a man with prophetic insight. Return to Jerusalem in peace with Abiathar and your two sons. I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until I receive word from you to inform me.

If I find favour in the eyes of my Lord, then He will allow me to return to Jerusalem, and to the place of His presence. But if He says to me that He no longer delights in me, then let Him do to me whatever seems good to Him.” Zadok had sensed the very presence of God surrounding them as they spoke. There was no question in his mind as to whom he should serve.

Returning the ark of God to its tent, Zadok and Abiathar had remained in Jerusalem as they had been instructed. They would make sure that they kept their eyes and ears open as the days went by and get news to king David whenever they could. They would also remain open to the Lord and pray.

 

P.S. Don’t forget to purchase a copy of Above the Storm, my new e-book on the ancient book of Job, full of short stories to help you understand some deep truths. This is a creative exploration of Job. You will not read another commentary like it. All royalties, if any, will go to Hope Street in Sydney, Australia.

Pastor Ross

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