2 Sam. 14-15:   “David Allows Absalom To Return To Israel However Absalom Tries To Take The Kingdom Away

By

Jim Bomkamp

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1.     INTRO:

 

1.1.     In our last study, we looked at chapter 13 of the book.

 

1.1.1.  In that study, we saw that the natural consequences of David’s sin began to occur when his sons began to imitate the things that dad had done.

 

1.1.1.1.  David’s son Ammon raped David’s daughter Tamar, who was a half-sister to Ammon.

 

1.1.1.2.  Next, David’s son, Absalom, who was a full brother to Tamar and a half brother to Ammon, kept silent and feigned having forgiven Ammon for what he had done to Tamar, however all the while plotting to murder Ammon.  Then, finally after two years Absalom murdered his brother Ammon for what he had done to Tamar.

 

1.1.1.3.      Next, Absalom, had to flee to a foreign territory ( Aram ) and hide out from justice for the murder he had committed. 

 

1.2.     In our study today, we are going to look at chapters 14 and 15 of the book.

 

1.2.1.  In our previous study, we saw David doing lots of reaping of the consequences of his sin, both in his character and in the circumstances he found himself in, and we discussed reaping and sowing and how to live for the Lord in the midst of reaping the past failures you have sown.

 

1.2.1.1.  We saw that the apostle Paul wrote for us the following about reaping and sowing in Galatians 6:7-9, “7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.”  Note that there are reapings to the flesh and reapings to the Spirit, as well as an encouragement to continue doing good.

 

1.2.1.2.      We saw that it is important for us as Christians to realize that, “Every single action that we take is a seed that we sow.  In time each of those seeds will grow up and reap a certain consequence in our life, either good or bad.”

 

1.2.2.  In our lives as Christians, it is the case that we go through all different types of times.  There are “mountain top experiences” where we are used greatly by God in other’s lives and blessed beyond description not being able to contain our joy.  There are “desert experiences” where we still are walking by faith but it is just a very dry time for us spiritually.  We realize that God is there but we just don’t seem to really be being edified or filled up in the way that we would like to be, and in those times we pray for God’s refreshing.  There are the “valleys” that we go through where it is a very dark experience and we become depressed in heart or sometimes feel the attack and pressure of the enemy as he comes against us or our family and friends out of nowhere.  There are really all kinds of different times and experiences for us as Christians, “joys as well as sorrows, and victories as well as defeats.”  However, we must realize as God’s people that in all of the times that the Lord leads us into that He leads us to those places out of His love.  The Lord loves us, but He loves us so much that He won’t leave us in our present state but is committed to transforming us into the image of His Son, and He has promised that He is using all things that we go through to work together for our good (Rom. 8:28).

 

1.2.2.1.      There are some promises of the scriptures that we as Christians are hesitant to claim, and yet they too are from the Lord for our lives, such as :

 

1.2.2.1.1.           Psalm 34:19, “19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

 

1.2.2.1.2.           Acts 14:22, “22Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.”

 

1.2.2.2.      Learning to walk by faith means accepting all of these things from the loving hand of God, and then coming to count it all joy whenever we encounter various trials ( just as we are told to do in the book of James ).

1.2.2.3.      It is so important then for us as Christians to follow David’s example here in these chapters we are going to look at today and see the Lord’s loving hand in each and every circumstance that we go through, and learn to give thanks to Him in the midst of every one of them.  1 Peter 4:12 has taught us that we should always be expecting that we shall go through trials in our life, “12…do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you.”

 

1.2.2.4.      In our lives, we seem to always be reaping some sort of consequences for our actions, either good or bad.  Every day we experience reapings, you see.

 

1.2.3.  In this study, we are going to see David in his darkest hours.  David’s son Absalom is going to instigate an insurrection to oust David from power so that he (Absalom ) can now reign over Israel.  David knows that the Lord has promised him that from his own household one will rise up against him, and also that the sword will never depart from his house.  In our story, David knows that every detail of what is happening to him is occurring because of the Lord’s chastening him because of his sin.  David has brought it all upon himself.

 

1.2.4.  We will see though that David does not try to resist what is happening since he sees that it is all from the Lord’s hand of discipline.  Thus, David accepts every aspect of his chastening trials as coming from the loving hand of God.

 

1.2.4.1.      In Hebrews 12:8-11, we read about how that the Lord disciplines each of us as His children just as a loving parent also disciplines his child, “8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

 

1.2.5.  Though David is accepting the trying events that occur in his life as coming from the hand of God, and he is repentant, what is happening to him is not just occurring because of his reaping the consequences of his sin of adultery with Bathsheba, and the subsequent murder of her husband Uriah.  David encounters these trials partially because he makes yet another sinful choice and allows his son Absalom to return to Israel and not have to receive the justice due him for the murder of his brother Ammon.  There is no excuse for David glossing over the sin of murder in Absalom’s life.  We have already seen how that one of David’s weaknesses was that he was an indulgent father.

 

1.2.6.  Remember from our last study, that this man Absalom, though he was very handsome and charismatic ( he will steal the hearts of all Israel ), there really is nothing that we can see that is redeeming about his character.  We noted that Arthur Pink called Absalom, “one of the most despicable, vile and God-abandoned characters whose record is chronicled in the Scritpures.”. 

 

2.     VS 14:1-20  - 1 Now Joab the son of Zeruiah perceived that the king’s heart was inclined toward Absalom. 2 So Joab sent to Tekoa and brought a wise woman from there and said to her, “Please pretend to be a mourner, and put on mourning garments now, and do not anoint yourself with oil, but be like a woman who has been mourning for the dead many days; 3 then go to the king and speak to him in this manner.” So Joab put the words in her mouth. 4 Now when the woman of Tekoa spoke to the king, she fell on her face to the ground and prostrated herself and said, “Help, O king.” 5 The king said to her, “What is your trouble?” And she answered, “Truly I am a widow, for my husband is dead. 6 “Your maidservant had two sons, but the two of them struggled together in the field, and there was no one to separate them, so one struck the other and killed him. 7 “Now behold, the whole family has risen against your maidservant, and they say, ‘Hand over the one who struck his brother, that we may put him to death for the life of his brother whom he killed, and destroy the heir also.’ Thus they will extinguish my coal which is left, so as to leave my husband neither name nor remnant on the face of the earth.” 8 Then the king said to the woman, “Go to your house, and I will give orders concerning you.” 9 The woman of Tekoa said to the king, “O my lord, the king, the iniquity is on me and my father’s house, but the king and his throne are guiltless.” 10 So the king said, “Whoever speaks to you, bring him to me, and he will not touch you anymore.” 11 Then she said, “Please let the king remember the Lord your God, so that the avenger of blood will not continue to destroy, otherwise they will destroy my son.” And he said, “As the Lord lives, not one hair of your son shall fall to the ground.” 12 Then the woman said, “Please let your maidservant speak a word to my lord the king.” And he said, “Speak.” 13 The woman said, “Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in speaking this word the king is as one who is guilty, in that the king does not bring back his banished one. 14 “For we will surely die and are like water spilled on the ground which cannot be gathered up again. Yet God does not take away life, but plans ways so that the banished one will not be cast out from him. 15 “Now the reason I have come to speak this word to my lord the king is that the people have made me afraid; so your maidservant said, ‘Let me now speak to the king, perhaps the king will perform the request of his maidservant. 16 ‘For the king will hear and deliver his maidservant from the hand of the man who would destroy both me and my son from the inheritance of God.’ 17 “Then your maidservant said, ‘Please let the word of my lord the king be comforting, for as the angel of God, so is my lord the king to discern good and evil. And may the Lord your God be with you.’ ” 18 Then the king answered and said to the woman, “Please do not hide anything from me that I am about to ask you.” And the woman said, “Let my lord the king please speak.” 19 So the king said, “Is the hand of Joab with you in all this?” And the woman replied, “As your soul lives, my lord the king, no one can turn to the right or to the left from anything that my lord the king has spoken. Indeed, it was your servant Joab who commanded me, and it was he who put all these words in the mouth of your maidservant; 20 in order to change the appearance of things your servant Joab has done this thing. But my lord is wise, like the wisdom of the angel of God, to know all that is in the earth.” -  Joab used a woman from Tekoa to go to King David and cause the king to allow his son Absalom to be able to return to Israel

 

2.1.                     In these verses, we see Joab, King David’s general and defense minister, being manipulative.  He determines to try to get King David and his son Absalom to be reconciled, and Absalom to be allowed to come back from his place of refuge to Israel. 

 

2.2.                     We have to wonder what Joab’s motivations were for wanting David and Absalom to reconcile and Absalom to move back to Israel, and I would submit that :

 

2.2.1.  Joab saw that David continually mourned and grieved for his son Absalom.  He knew that David still had a father’s love for Absalom, even though Absalom had done such a horrible thing in murdering his brother Ammon.

 

2.2.2.  I believe that Joab also knew that David’s favorite son was Absalom and that David had originally planned for Absalom to be his successor as king over Israel.

 

2.2.3.  Joab also knew that of all of David’s sons that Absalom would be the one having the most propensity to rally Israel together and to be a king over them. 

 

2.2.3.1.      Solomon, whom the Lord had chosen to be the next king, and shown this by giving him the special name of Jedidah, indicating his favor with the Lord, was only 10 years old at this time.

 

2.2.4.  Joab was thinking politically about his own future after David finished reigning and wanted to position himself in the best possible place in the next kingship.

 

2.3.                      Joab talks this widow of Tekoa ( supposedly a “wise woman” ), probably offering a financial reward, into being a tool to direct the heart of the king to receive back his son from exile.  This widow tells David of her plight.  One of her sons had murdered the other son.  Now, if this son who murdered his brother were to be put to death there would be no one to carry on the family name and inheritance.  Surely, she believes that the king upon hearing her story will relent and release this son from a capital sentence for murder.  After pressing the king, the woman finally gets King David to promise that not one hair on her sons head shall fall.  Then, the woman boldly asks the king if she may ask him something personally.  David agrees, and then the woman asks David why it is that he has not allowed his son to return to Israel?  The woman then says that David is killing all Israel by doing this.  This application of this woman’s story is sort of a comparing of apples and oranges, however it is successful in persuading David.  Next, the woman tells David that it is not the Lord’s purpose to take away life but to bring back a banished one, not cast him away.

 

2.3.1.  This widow of Tekoa was simply mimicking the words given to her by Joab and didn’t really understand the great truth that she is proclaiming here.  There is a great truth here concerning the Lord.  God does not cast away a son or daughter of His who turns away and goes to live in sin.  There are a few parables in the gospels that Jesus taught that demonstrate this.  For instance, the Good Shepherd leaves the 99 and goes and looks for the one lost sheep.  Or, the parable of the Prodigal Son shows the father yearning and constantly waiting upon the porch for the return of his wayward son so that he might rejoice and make festive at his return.  When we as Christians fall into sin, our heavenly Father’s heart mourns and grieves for us and He does everything that He can to rescue us from the fires of Hell that await all apostates.  It is a difficult thing for a son of God to forsake the Lord for He meets the Lord lovingly wooing him back upon every path he trods.

 

2.4.                     David finally asks the woman if Joab had put her up to petitioning him about the return of his son, and upon hearing that Joab had done this thing, David wastes no time in recalling his son from exile to come back to Israel.

 

3.     VS 14:21-24  - 21 Then the king said to Joab, “Behold now, I will surely do this thing; go therefore, bring back the young man Absalom.” 22 Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrated himself and blessed the king; then Joab said, “Today your servant knows that I have found favor in your sight, O my lord, the king, in that the king has performed the request of his servant.” 23 So Joab arose and went to Geshur and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. 24 However the king said, “Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face.” So Absalom turned to his own house and did not see the king’s face. -  King David allows his son Absalom to return to Israel but then refuses to see him face to face

 

3.1.                     David tells Joab to go and to bring Absalom back to Israel, and Joab falls on the ground and prostrates himself and blesses the King David because he has found favor with the king.

 

3.2.                     We see here though that since David knew that Absalom really deserved justice for having committed murder that David tells Joab that Absalom may return to Jerusalem however he shall not see the king’s face.  This attempt at showing his displeasure of Absalom’s actions and this being a form of justice just ends up back-firing for King David however, and Absalom becomes consumed in bitterness towards David, leading to his revolution to overthrow David as king.

 

3.3.                     We have talked in our study of so many ways in which David appears as a type of Christ in the books of Samuel, however in these verses we find a glaring difference between Jesus and David. 

 

3.3.1.  The Lord never glosses over any man’s or woman’s sin in order to forgive them.  There is no forgiveness from the Lord apart from full justice being executed because of those sins.  A price had to be paid for our sins, and by the grace and mercy of God He sent His only begotten Son to pay that price which we could never pay.  Thus, we can come to have fellowship with the Lord through placing our faith in that sacrifice made on our behalf.

 

3.3.2.  Then, when the Lord forgives us as His people He also restores fellowship.  In fact, He removes our sin completely from our lives and “justifies” us ( makes it just as if we had never sinned ).

 

3.3.3.  The Lord forgives us in order to restore fellowship with us, and a blessed fellowship it is that we then began to enjoy.

 

4.     VS 14:25-27  - 25 Now in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him. 26 When he cut the hair of his head (and it was at the end of every year that he cut it, for it was heavy on him so he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head at 200 shekels by the king’s weight. 27 To Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter whose name was Tamar; she was a woman of beautiful appearance. -  Absalom was an unusually handsome man with a huge full head of hair ( he grew 3 ˝ lbs of hair every year )

 

4.1.                     David made the same mistake with Absalom that Samuel ( and really all Israel ) made concerning Saul :  they based their opinion of a person based upon the external physical characteristics rather than the internal aspects of character.  David was taken by Absalom because of his good looks and charisma, and thus prior to Absalom’s murder of Ammon, David had planned for Absalom to replace him as king in time.

 

4.2.                     We don’t know Absalom’s wife’s name but he had three sons and a daughter.

 

5.     VS 14:28-33  - 28 Now Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and did not see the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab, to send him to the king, but he would not come to him. So he sent again a second time, but he would not come. 30 Therefore he said to his servants, “See, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there; go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. 31 Then Joab arose, came to Absalom at his house and said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” 32 Absalom answered Joab, “Behold, I sent for you, saying, ‘Come here, that I may send you to the king, to say, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me still to be there.” ’ Now therefore, let me see the king’s face, and if there is iniquity in me, let him put me to death.” 33 So when Joab came to the king and told him, he called for Absalom. Thus he came to the king and prostrated himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom. -  Absalom set Joab’s field on fire in order to get Joab to bring him to the palace and see his father

 

5.1.                     After 2 years of living in Jerusalem and yet not being able to see his father, Absalom twice sent word to Joab that he wanted to see his father but Joab didn’t answer him.  Finally, Absalom had his servants set Joab’s field on fire in order to get Joab’s attention. 

 

5.2.                     When Joab finally came to Absalom, Absalom told him that if he could not see and be reconciled with his father that there was really no purpose in him returning from exile in Geshur.  Then, Absalom asks to see the king’s face and that if there is iniquity in his heart then let the king put him to death.

 

5.2.1.  Note that in saying this that Absalom’s heart is revealed, for this reveals that he really did not believe that he had done anything wrong in murdering his brother Ammon.

 

5.3.                     When Joab comes and tells King David of Absalom’s words and request to see his father, David sends for Absalom to come to him.

 

5.4.                     Note here that Absalom comes and prostrates himself before King David, however there was truly no repentance or contrition in Absalom’s heart.  King David kisses Absalom, and we are not told of anything further occurring between David and Absalom. 

 

6.     VS 15:1-6  - 1 Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses and fifty men as runners before him. 2 Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king.” 4 Moreover, Absalom would say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice.” 5 And when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 In this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel. -  Absalom won the hearts of the children of Israel away from King David to himself

 

6.1.                     Upon leaving King David, Absalom immediately began a campaign to take over the kingdom from his father.  He determined first that he would win the hearts of the people away from King David.

 

6.2.                     Absalom was a treacherous, unscrupulous and selfishly ambitious man.  Rather than show gratitude towards his father for having spared him from death for having murdered Ammon, he instead plots and carries out a rebellion to take over the throne from his father.

 

6.3.                     What a charismatic and savvy politician this Absalom was, for observe the ways in which he went about to turn the hearts of the people of Israel away from King David to himself :

 

6.3.1.  He went and obtained a chariot and horses and 50 men to be runners before him wherever he went.

 

6.3.1.1.      Kings in Israel were not to have chariots nor horses, for their trust was to be in the Lord not in these.  Absalom wanted to use this chariot and these 50 runners to display his greatness and splendor before the people, that which befitted a king.

 

6.3.1.2.      In contrast, the Lord Jesus showed His humility and submission to God’s Law by riding a donkey into Jerusalem at His triumphal entry.

 

6.3.2.  Absalom arose early every day and stood at the city gate into Jerusalem.  When anyone would come to the gate with a suit against another he would tell him that his claims were good and right however since the king would not appoint anyone at the gates to determine cases that he would not get justice.

 

6.3.3.  Like the successful albeit slimy politicians of our day, Absalom also told everyone that if he were made king that he would plead their case and represent them, promising everyone whatever they wanted.

 

6.3.4.  If anyone prostrated himself before Absalom when he appeared before him, Absalom would take ahold of him and kiss him.

 

6.4.                     The hearts of all Israel began to be won over from King David to his son Absalom.

 

7.     VS 15:7-12  - 7 Now it came about at the end of forty years that Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebron. 8 “For your servant vowed a vow while I was living at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the Lord shall indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord.’ ” 9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you shall say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’ ” 11 Then two hundred men went with Absalom from Jerusalem, who were invited and went innocently, and they did not know anything. 12 And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh, while he was offering the sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong, for the people increased continually with Absalom. -  Absalom gets permission from King David to go to Hebron to complete a vow to the Lord he had made, however this is just a ruse to go and launch a coup to take away the kingdom of Israel from his father

 

7.1.                     Everything was in perfect place for Absalom’s revolt.  He had won over the hearts of the children of Israel from King David, and now he goes to Hebron knowing that this would be a place to declare himself king since it was the place that David was initially made king in Israel.  Maybe Absalom also knew that in Hebron the people were particularly disgruntled against King David.

 

7.2.                     It is agreed by most commentators that there must be a textual error here in the manuscript and that this time period is most likely 4 years instead of 40.  David’s entire reign was only 40 years, plus Absalom did not come into manhood until well into David’s reign.

 

7.3.                     Absalom lies to David here telling him that when he was way up north in exile in Syria that he had made a vow that had to be fulfilled down in the south in Hebron.  As part of the consequences of David’s sin with Bathsheba, David is not discerning of Absalom’s true motives and intentions and thus he allows Absalom to go down to Hebron.

 

7.4.                     All through the tribes of Israel, Absalom sent word that as soon as anyone heard trumpets blow that they were to say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.” 

 

7.5.                     We see that 200 men went with Absalom from Jerusalem and they didn’t know of Absalom’s plans, for they ‘went innocently.’

 

7.6.                     Ahithophel who had been David’s counselor ( and prime minister ) had been in cohorts with Absalom and was ready at Absalom’s word to come and join him in his rebellion against David. 

 

7.6.1.  We shouldn’t be too surprised at Ahithophel turning against King David for we can deduce from 2 Sam. 11:3 and 23:24 that he was the grandfather of Bathsheba, and thus he surely resented what David had done to his granddaughter and her family.

 

8.     VS 15:13-17  - 13 Then a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.” 14 David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise and let us flee, for otherwise none of us will escape from Absalom. Go in haste, or he will overtake us quickly and bring down calamity on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 Then the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king chooses.” 16 So the king went out and all his household with him. But the king left ten concubines to keep the house. 17 The king went out and all the people with him, and they stopped at the last house. -  David takes all of his servants and flees Jerusalem

 

8.1.                     Notice here that when David hears of the insurrection raised against him for the throne by Absalom that David does absolutely nothing about it.  He doesn’t rally his army together to defend Jerusalem, He doesn’t close the gates of Jerusalem, He doesn’t warn his guard, He doesn’t do any of this.  We then have to ask the reason why David did nothing at this point ?

 

8.1.1.  David realized that the Lord had told him that he was going to have trouble in his family for the rest of his life and he was now accepting these events as coming from the hand of the Lord.

 

8.1.2.  David appears to have had a prolonged sickness during this period of time when Absalom had declared himself king, and thus David did not react as he could and should have. 

 

8.1.2.1.      Psalms 41 and 55, and perhaps also 39, were penned by David during this period of time when he was sick and Absalom was trying to wrest the kingdom from him :

 

8.1.2.1.1.           Psalm 41:1-4, “1 How blessed is he who considers the helpless; The Lord will deliver him in a day of trouble. 2 The Lord will protect him and keep him alive, And he shall be called blessed upon the earth; And do not give him over to the desire of his enemies. 3 The Lord will sustain him upon his sickbed; In his illness, You restore him to health. 4 As for me, I said, “O Lord, be gracious to me; Heal my soul, for I have sinned against You.””

 

8.1.2.1.2.           Psalm 55:1-8, “1 Give ear to my prayer, O God; And do not hide Yourself from my supplication. 2 Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted, 3 Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the pressure of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me And in anger they bear a grudge against me. 4 My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. 5 Fear and trembling come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. 6 I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. 7 “Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness.Selah. 8 “I would hasten to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and tempest.””

 

8.1.3.  David did not want Jerusalem to be destroyed by war.  Oh, how he loved Zion!

 

9.     VS 15:18-22  - 18 Now all his servants passed on beside him, all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had come with him from Gath, passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why will you also go with us? Return and remain with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile; return to your own place. 20 “You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander with us, while I go where I will? Return and take back your brothers; mercy and truth be with you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king and said, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely wherever my lord the king may be, whether for death or for life, there also your servant will be.” 22 Therefore David said to Ittai, “Go and pass over.” So Ittai the Gittite passed over with all his men and all the little ones who were with him. -  600 Philistines who had left the country of the Philistines with David now flee Jerusalem with King David and his family

 

9.1.                     Just like Jesus His anti-type, David was a rejected king, rejected by the Israelites.  And just as it is the church who has gathered together with their leader Jesus, the rejected king, so these Philistines are now the only ones by David’s side as he flees Jerusalem.  These Philistines then symbolize in type the church.

 

9.2.                     It is moving to consider this group of 600 Philistines, for they are going to follow David even though their future is completely uncertain seeing as David is now the rejected king.  Yet, these men are willing to sacrifice all in their lives just to have the fellowship with their king, the one they know to be the true king of Israel.

 

9.2.1.  In the same way, we who come to follow Christ and receive salvation from Him, must come to Him by throwing in our lot with Him come what may.  Though constant tribulation or battle be the outcome,  we who will be blessed to be His followers are those who must lay down our all and follow Him regardless of the price.

 

9.2.2.  David even tries to persuade these Philistines that since they are foreigners in the first place that perhaps they should return to safety in the country of their birth, however they are a group who knows that they are actually aliens now to the country of their birth for their citizenship is not that of their birth or their people but that of their king and of his kingdom.

 

9.2.2.1.      Are we as God’s people today aliens and strangers on this earth, and is not our true citizenship not upon earth but in heaven with all of those who shall be God’s people for eternity.

 

10.            VS 15:23  - 23 While all the country was weeping with a loud voice, all the people passed over. The king also passed over the brook Kidron, and all the people passed over toward the way of the wilderness. -  All across the country people were weeping with David as he left Jerusalem and crossed over the Kidron brook to go and to hide in the wilderness

 

10.1.                The Kidron Brook has an interesting significance in the scripture : 

 

10.1.1.                     The Hebrew word translated “Kidron” means “dark” or “black.” 

 

10.1.2.                     Arthur Pink has written the following about the Kidron brook, “…it was a dark rivulet which ran thourgh the gloomy valley of Moriah, which Josephus tells us was on the east side of Jerusalem.  It lay between the bases of the temple hill and the mount of Olivet.  Into this brook was continually emptied the sewage of the city, as well as the filth from the temple sacrifices for sin.  This was the “unclean place without the city” (Lev. 14:40,45), where the excrements of the offerings were deposited and carried away by the waters of this brook.  In a figure it was the sins and iniquities of the people which were being washed away from before God’s face—from the temple, where He dwelt in Israel’s midst.”

 

10.1.3.                     This was the same brook that Jesus crossed to go into the Garden of Gethsemane the night of His betrayal.

 

10.1.4.                     See also 2 Chron. 15:16, 30:14 and 2 Kings 23:4,6. 

 

11.            VS 15:24-26  - 24 Now behold, Zadok also came, and all the Levites with him carrying the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar came up until all the people had finished passing from the city. 25 The king said to Zadok, “Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the sight of the Lord, then He will bring me back again and show me both it and His habitation. 26 “But if He should say thus, ‘I have no delight in you,’ behold, here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” -  Zadok, the high priest, and all of the Levites came with him carrying the Ark to David, however David persuades them to return to Israel with the Ark

 

11.1.                We see here David’s contrite and repentant heart accepting the discipline that the Lord has for him.  He tells Zadok to take the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem saying that if he (David) finds favor in the Lord’s sight then He will bring him (David) back and show him the Ark’s habitation.  But, if the Lord does not bring David back, he is resolved that the Lord will do as seems good to Him.

 

11.2.                David’s words remind me of what Job said in Job 13:15 while in the midst of his horrible and prolonged trial, “15 Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him.”

 

12.            VS 15:27-29  - 27 The king said also to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace and your two sons with you, your son Ahimaaz and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 “See, I am going to wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar returned the ark of God to Jerusalem and remained there. -  King David sends Zadak the priest and his two sons ( along with the ark of God ) back to Jerusalem to be his spies of Absalom

 

13.            VS 15:30-31  - 30 And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went. 31 Now someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, I pray, make the counsel of Ahithophel foolishness.” -  David climbs the Mt. Of Olives weeping as he goes, and with his head covered and barefoot

 

13.1.                We cannot but have compassion upon David here as we see him ascending the Mount Of Olives with his head covered and barefooted, weeping as he went. 

 

13.2.                David is weeping because he knows that it is his own sin that has brought all of these events about. 

 

13.3.                David has his head covered because of his humility and contrition before the Lord.

 

13.4.                When told that his favorite counselor, Ahithophel, has joined Absalom in his insurrection, David prays tha the Lord will make Ahithophel’s counsel foolishness.  We will see later in the book that the Lord answers this prayer of David’s and saves David as a result.

 

13.4.1.                     In Psalm 41:9 and 55:12-14, David wrote about Ahithophel’s betrayal of him, “9 Even my close friend in whom I trusted, Who ate my bread, Has lifted up his heel against me12 For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. 13 But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend; 14 We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the throng.”

 

13.4.2.                     Jesus had his Judas and David had his Ahithophel.

 

13.5.                Psalm 3 is a Psalm that the margins of our Bibles say was written by David during this time when he was fleeing from Absalom, “1 O Lord, how my adversaries have increased! Many are rising up against me. 2 Many are saying of my soul, “There is no deliverance for him in God.”  Selah. 3 But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head. 4 I was crying to the Lord with my voice, And He answered me from His holy mountain.  Selah. 5 I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustains me. 6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people Who have set themselves against me round about. 7 Arise, O Lord; save me, O my God! For You have smitten all my enemies on the cheek; You have shattered the teeth of the wicked. 8 Salvation belongs to the Lord; Your blessing be upon Your people!  Selah.”

 

13.5.1.                     Hushai may have been an old man and this would be a burden to David if he accompanied David as he fled.

 

14.            VS 15:32-37  - 32 It happened as David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, that behold, Hushai the Archite met him with his coat torn and dust on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you pass over with me, then you will be a burden to me. 34 “But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so I will now be your servant,’ then you can thwart the counsel of Ahithophel for me. 35 “Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So it shall be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall report to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 “Behold their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything that you hear.” 37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, and Absalom came into Jerusalem.” -  Hushai wants to go into exile with King David, however tells him also to return to Jerusalem, along with Zadok and his sons, and Hushai can then act as a spy and also thwart the counsel of Ahithophel


 

15.            CONCLUSIONS:

 

15.1.                As we consider David, and this horrible crucible of trials that he was experiencing at this time, all the consequences of his past sins, our hearts go out to him.  His son Absalom, the one he loved the most and even allowed to return to Jerusalem and not face death for murder, has turned against him and tried to take his kingdom away from him.  This has all happened also while is very ill with a protracted illness.  Yet, for practical application in our lives what we need to consider on our part is how David viewed his trials and also how he submitted to the Lord in the midst of them.

 

15.1.1.                     How David viewed his difficulties :

 

15.1.1.1. David never blamed the Lord for the evil the befell him, he took full responsibility for his difficulties. 

 

15.1.1.2. David never quit trusting in the Lord and His love and goodness.  David knew that each one of these trials came from the loving hand of the Lord. 

 

15.1.2.                     How David submitted to the Lord in the midst of his difficulties :

 

15.1.2.1. He accepted them as coming from the Lord and didn’t try to manipulate his situation to get out from under his trials, but rather allowed them to mold his character.

 

15.1.2.2. He prayed fervently for the Lord to come to his defense and to help him out of his difficulties.

 

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