The battle was over . . . the true king’s forces had prevailed . . . he who would be king was dead. Absalom the vengeful . . . Absalom the ambitious . . . Absalom the cold-hearted . . . Absalom the arrogant . . . Absalom, who had sought to usurp the authority of the rightful king, had been done in by the very thing he was most proud of. It says that Absalom, while fleeing the prevailing army of David, caught his head in the branches of a great oak, “and he was suspended between heaven and earth.” Many think that what got entangled in the trees was his hair . . . the crowning component of his vain glory (2Sam. 14:25-26). And there, hung by his own vanity, Joab put the enemy of the throne to death. Game, set, match! Time to let others know!
Enter Ahimaaz . . .
Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run and carry news to the king that the LORD has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.” (2Samuel 18:19 ESV)
That’s what Ahimaaz did . . . he carried news. And when it was good news, he ran . . . and ran like no other. The king’s enemies had been defeated . . . and that was good news . . . and so he wanted to run.
But Joab was reluctant to send him. Though they had won the battle, Absalom was dead . . . and the king had specifically commanded that they “deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom” (18:5). Perhaps because of his own lingering guilt over his treachery with Uriah concerning Bathsheba, the king didn’t have it in him to hold this son of destruction accountable. And so, Joab feared that, though there was good news to be conveyed, the king would instead focus on the bad news of his son’s death . . . and who knew how he’d react. When David had received the news of Saul’s death, another of his enemies, he had the messenger slain (1:15-16).
But, although another, perhaps more expendable messenger, a Cushite, was sent to inform David of the victory, Ahimaaz would not be denied doing what we was called to do . . . bear good news.
Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “Come what may, let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, seeing that you will have no reward for the news?” “Come what may,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by the way of the plain, and outran the Cushite. (2Samuel 18:22-23 ESV)
And noodling on this, I’m kind of challenged by how much, or maybe not so much, I’m motivated to run. I know the battle’s been won and the enemy defeated. That God has “disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame,” by triumphing over them through the cross of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ (Col. 2:15). The Lamb of God enduring the cross, shedding His blood, taking upon Himself God’s righteous wrath. That we who were dead in our trespasses, God might make alive together with His risen Son, “having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This He set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Col. 2:13-14).
Isn’t that good news? So let me run! Let me take to the plain and out pace those with lesser messages. Let me not worry about how it might be received, but be compelled by the nature of the news itself . . . that “in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2Cor. 5:19). Sin and death have been defeated! Let me run.
O’ to be more of an Ahimaaz . . . let me run with the good news . . . by God’s grace . . . for God’s glory . . .