2 Samuel 15
King David has finally forgiven his son, Absalom for killing his brother, but Absalom has not forgiven his father for exiling him. He begins doing things to turn people against his father. Anytime a person had a dispute to settle, Absalom would approach them first and basically tell them the king wouldn’t do anything to help them, but if he were in charge it would be different. This, of course, was a lie, but people often believe what they are told. Absalom slowly built up a loyal following.
After a time, Absalom asked his father’s permission to go to Hebron, saying he needed to make a sacrifice. David grants his request. Absalom takes 20 men with him and sends out spies to tell everyone he is about to take control. He also sends for Ahithophel, one of King David’s closest advisors, to come with him. And while in Hebron his support grows and grows.
Finally messengers come back to David to let him know that the people are turning against him in favor of Absalom. King David decides to take his loyal followers and flee Jerusalem, fearing defeat by Absalom. All of his personal body guards, or mighty men, go with him. A group of mercenaries led by Ittai of Gath go with David even though David encourages them to go back. They aren’t even true Israelites, but they refuse to leave the king and go with David. When Zadok the priest comes with the ark, David insists they return to the city. David tells them the ark belongs in Jerusalem and if he has favor in God’s sight David will be returning. David also tells Zadok that his sons can bring him messages to help in that way. The final person he sends back is his dear friend and advisor, Hushai. David tells Hushai that he will be a burden to them fleeing but can help them by giving bad advice to Absalom and sending messages through Zadok’s sons. So he returns to the city as well. Then Absalom comes to Jerusalem to take control.
There are times when people should rise up and overthrow bad leaders. But that is not Absalom’s motivation. King David is a good leader but Absalom is unforgiving and greedy. As the oldest son many assume he will be the next king. But he is too greedy to wait. He is also filled with bitterness because his father took so long to forgive him. Absalom is so focused on the wrong done to him he can’t see the wrong he is doing. He’s angry because his father didn’t forgive him but he is committing the exact same sin!! Absalom needs to forgive his father but instead he is seeking revenge. The Bible tells us that God is the only one who can see all of our sins clearly. That is why we need to worry about our own sins, forgive others and let God do the punishing. We can’t see clearly enough to make the right choices. That is why God tells us to just forgive and let Him handle it!!
Have you ever wanted to get someone back for something they did to you? Is that what God wants you to do? What should you do?