Well Hidden

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Monday, April 18, 2016

Well Hidden

David’s son Absolam had been a busy boy. For months he stood beside the road that led to the city gate. His mission – to launch a conspiracy against his father (2 Samuel 15:2). It took a while, but eventually the hearts of the men of Israel turned towards Absolam, forcing David and his family to flee Jerusalem (2 Samuel 15:14). Absolam took a quick timeout to fulfill prophecy by creating a stench in his father’s nostrils (2 Samuel 16:21-22), then turned his efforts towards hunting down his own father.

Hushai the Arkite, loyal to David, tried to help by hatching a hidden scheme. After stalling Absolam’s departure, Hushai planned to send messengers to advise David to cross over the fords in the desert without fail. A servant girl was instructed to tell Jonathon and Ahimaaz of Hushai’s advice. They would then leave to warn David. Unfortunately, Jonathon and Ahimaaz were spotted by Absolam’s vigilant spies, and the information of their motions was reported to Absolam.

Having been discovered, this pair of makeshift spies took off quickly for Bahurim. They sheltered themselves in a friend’s house, one where David had recently taken refuge. This man had a well in his courtyard, and Jonathon and Ahimaaz eagerly climbed down into it. There they were happily hidden from Absolam’s assassins.

This is perhaps the only instance in the Bible where being hidden in a well brought joy and comfort. Others had been forced into wells and saw no joy in their circumstances. For example, Joseph was thrown into a well by his jealous brothers (Genesis 37:24). This event brought no comfort to Joseph because his brothers were plotting to kill him. Joseph was well hidden had his father Jacob had come looking for him. Fortunately for Joseph, the well was dry (Genesis 37:24). Joseph did emerge from the well, but his liberty was short-lived. His brothers sold him immediately into slavery and he was taken to Egypt.

Jeremiah also spent time in a well. His prophecies had angered the king’s officials (Jeremiah 38:1-4). In retaliation, they took Jeremiah and put him into the cistern of Malkijah, the king’s son, which was in the courtyard of the guard, well hidden from the king. The well had no water in it, only mud, and Jeremiah sunk deep into the muck. By God’s grace, Jeremiah was lifted out of the well by thirty men using ropes and old rages to assist the “weeping” prophet.

Of all the “well-hidden” people in the Bible, Jonathon and Ahimaaz were perhaps the most comfortable. Because it was summer, the well was likely dry. They had entered of their own accord and had co-conspirators ready and willing to help them out of the hole at the proper time. Thus, their patience would preserve them.

Interestingly, the woman of the house used an ingenious technique to maintain their secret location. Covering the mouth of the well with a cloth, she then spread corn kernels out to dry on it. The pursuers were not aware there was a well; otherwise they would have searched it. So far, this woman had done well, but she then committed an unfortunate sin. With her friends well hidden, she further concealed them with a lie. We must not do evil so that good may come of it.

Despite her untruthfulness, God protected the men and the pursuers were foiled. Frustrated, the would-be assassins returned to Absolam without their prey. Having survived their ordeal, Jonathon and Ahimaaz continued on and brought their intelligence faithfully to David. David was able to escape the impending doom as, through the advice of his friends, he did not tarry and crossed over the Jordan River to safety.

What is well hidden from man is still obvious to God. Our hearts are often deep wells where we try to hide our secrets from God, but He searches our hearts and shed His light on our deepest, darkest secrets (Luke 16:16, 1 Kings 8:39). In contrast, what may be known about God is plain to us (Romans 1:19), because He has made it so. Glorify Him and give thanks to Him that He does not keep Himself well hidden from us.

In His love and service,

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ


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