Absalom Rebels Against David

A young Roman was condemned to death for treason. At the end of the trial an older brother stepped forward. He had lost both arms fighting for Rome. Holding out the stumps he pleaded for his brother’s life. He confessed his brother’s guilt and that he was worthy of de … More

Treason

In order to show himself in a position of authority, Absalom provides himself a “chariot of horses”  and “men to run ahead of him” (vv. 1-6). His plan was to in a simple and subtle way establish himself as a leader of the people of Israel. Early each morning he would position himself along the main road leading to Jerusalem. This was where disgruntled citizens were expected to bring their complaints to a person of royal position. When the person is asked what town he is from and from what tribe of Israel Absalom will assure that person that he has the authority to hear the case. Absalom then suggests that if he is appointed judge he will personally see to it that justice is served. He implies that he himself and not King David, is best suited to provide them with justice. Thus Absalom “stole the hearts” of the men of Israel.

After Absalom has lived in Jerusalem for four years he decides that it is time for him to seize the kingdom (vv. 7-12). As a way of masking his true intentions he asks David for permission to go to Hebron (Where David was first appointed king) to fulfill a vow that he had made to the Lord. David, apparently unsuspecting, tells his son to “go in peace.” Absalom then sends out “secret messengers” to the various tribal territories to tell them that at the “sound of the trumpet” he is to be declared king of Israel. A large group of men from Jerusalem, unsuspecting of Absalom’s true intentions, has accompanied him to Hebron. He then gets Ahithophel, one of David’s own counselors to join him. It is therefore understandable that as Bathsheba’s grandfather he was an enemy of David. This evil alliance of Absalom’s ambition and Ahithophel’s advice causes Absalom’s following to increase.

Application

The hunger for power and authority causes men to do all sorts of things to climb the “so called ladder of success.” If we are already in the center of God’s will we can never climb to a higher position. It has been my desire to reach people with the Gospel of Christ and I seek no other position. I love ministering to youth and want to do that as long as I possibly can.


II Samuel 15:1-12 (English Standard Version)

After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, "From what city are you?" And when he said, "Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel," Absalom would say to him, "See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you." Then Absalom would say, "Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice." And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. And at the end of four years Absalom said to the king, "Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron. For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, 'If the LORD will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to the LORD.'" The king said to him, "Go in peace." So he arose and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, "As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, 'Absalom is king at Hebron!'" With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing.

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