Reviewing King David and a violent protest against him.
Going back to for some background, we learn how bad decisions at the top splash over into other areas.
David’s Adultery with Bathsheba
Uriah’s Death Arranged
The source of the problem and the attempt to keep it secret.
Continuing to take broad looks at the problem, we skim through , with Nathan’s Parable and David’s Repentance.
David doesn’t get punished directly, but he doesn’t get off without cost.
His child will not live.
God promises the sword to never leave the house of David.
Sure enough, death comes to Bathsheba’s Son
The Birth of Solomon is a comfort to Bathsheba.
Capture of the City of Rabbah is a comfort to David.
The sword has deeper grief for the king than he imagined, as we find in . The source of the problem has already happened, but for the sake of our look at a violent protest, it begins with lust and revenge.
Amnon Rapes Tamar.
Absalom Murders Amnon
At first, all sons thought lost.
Absalom flees for 3 years while David grieves.
Each of these problems might have had different, and legal results if the desire of lust was taken to the king. If the resulting rape would have been sent to the king for proper judgment, possibly Absalom wouldn’t have taken the law into his own hands. But maybe not.
Spine of a Bible ca. 2001, “Used with permission from Microsoft.”
Getting to the focus of today’s feature, we reach , Absalom is Restored to David.
When the right-hand man to the king, Joab saw David wanted Absalom back, he came up with an elaborate plan to prove his point.
An elaborate plan with a woman pretending to have a rift in her family similar to the murder that has torn apart the king’s family.
David sees through the ruse.
Absalom is summoned.
Absalom welcomed to his home in Hebron, but not allowed to see the king.
Is there now reconciliation? Or is there still matters to resolve?
Absalom seems to have it all going for him. He’s handsome and highly praised.
25 No man in all Israel was as handsome and highly praised as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the top of his head, he did not have a single flaw. 26 When he shaved his head – he shaved [it] every year because [his hair] got so heavy for him that he had to shave it off – he would weigh the hair from his head and it would be five pounds according to the royal standard.
Two years pass, 4 kids, 3 sons and a beautiful daughter named for her beloved aunt Tamar. Absalom is back home, but is this real restoration? Is it satisfying reconciliation?
27 Three sons were born to Absalom, and a daughter named Tamar, who was a beautiful woman. 28 Absalom resided in Jerusalem for two years but never saw the king.
Absalom can only find satisfaction with a meeting with his father the king. But first, he needs help from Joab again. He sent twice for the top official to see the king.
29 Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab was unwilling to come. So he sent again, a second time, but he still wouldn’t come.
What do you do when you have a problem? What do you do when you feel ignored, lacking in privilege, unwanted, undesired, unheard?
You have a violent protest. Why? Because violence is an effective attention-getter.
30 Then Absalom said to his servants, See, Joab has a field right next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set fire to it!” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.
“Used with permission from Microsoft.”
Absalom’s idea worked. Violence gets a response. But then what? Now that you have the attention of the top man beside the king, does the violence continue?
31 Then Joab came to Absalom’s house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?
Scriptures in the episode are quoted from the King James Version, except those quoted by Keith, then it is from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®,