David has left Jerusalem. Absalom and the people of Israel come and occupy Jerusalem.
“And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.”
Don’t harm Absalom
Even though Absalom has taken David’s throne, David still loves his son and does not want him hurt.
“And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom.” (18:5)
Absalom slain by Joab
Absalom dies at the hand of Joab. Joab disobeyed King David. King David mourned and almost lost his kingdom. Joab coax’s King David out of his lethargy.
“And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak.” (18:9-10)
“Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.” (18:14)
“And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (18:33)
“And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines;6 In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well.7 Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the Lord, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now.8 Then the king arose, and sat in the gate. And they told unto all the people, saying, Behold, the king doth sit in the gate. And all the people came before the king: for Israel had fled every man to his tent.” (19:5-8)
David returns to Jerusalem
“And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants.15 So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan.” (19:14-15)
Unfortunately, David does live out the rest of his life in peace. There is a residual revolt by the tribes of Israel, a three year famine, and a three day pestilence costing seventy thousand lives.
You can read this in 2 Samuel 20-24.
God’s promise to David in 2 Samuel 12:11-12 was fulfilled.
“Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbor, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.”
David is hailed as a great and mighty king. However, it was only by God’s mercy and grace. He was spiritually up and down.
This concludes our study of 1-2 Samuel.
Tom Stearns, WASI Chaplain, 907 715-4001