When Family Bonds Shatter
Explore the Bible Series
November 23, 2008
Background Passage: II Samuel 13:1-20:26
Lesson Passage: II Samuel 13:19-22, 28a, 37-39; 14:23-24; 15:1-6
David endured one of the deepest heartaches anyone could endure, the rebellion of a child.† How does one measure the depth of this grief?† Perhaps the one thing we all fear is rejection by those we love.† Nothing produces such agony as the betrayal of those who should love us most, and, in Davidís case, the king experienced the rebellion of his own flesh and blood.† I suspect that David never truly recovered from the rebellion and death of his beloved son.
The Bible gives some indication of Davidís ineptitude as a parent, but he loved his children deeply.† Absalom seemed to enjoy a particularly favored place in his fatherís heart, and this rebellion must have cut David to the quick.† This young man should have loved and honored his father, but he did not.† Many times, Godís children entrust their hearts to people that should return their love.† Sometimes, however, the persons whom we love most reject our love.† In Davidís case, the beloved son murdered a sibling, plotted his fatherís demise, undermined his fatherís position, dishonored his fatherís marriage bad, and led an armed rebellion; a rebellion he hoped would end with his fatherís death.† If you have experienced such a heart-break, you are not alone.
I. The Conflict Between Absalom and Amnon (13:1-39)
rape of Tamar (vv. 1-19): The main characters in this dramatic story were the
eldest sons of King David, Amnon (by Davidís wife Ahinoam) and Absalom (by the
Syrian princess Maacah).† Apparently, a
second son, Chileab, died in his youth, and Absalom stood second in line for
Davidís throne.† Perhaps Amnonís sexual
aggression arose from both his lust for Tamar and his hunger to solidify his
B. Absalomís revenge (vv. 20-36): To his credit, Absalom tried to comfort his disconsolate sister, but he seethed with anger, an anger he concealed for two years as he plotted revenge. Itís worth noting that David apparently did nothing to correct the behavior of Amnon.† Perhaps this gives some insight into the kingís weakness as a parent.† His passive approach to this situation seems to add to Absalomís bitterness.† After two years, Absalom planned a celebration that he used as a ruse to lure his brother to Baalhazor.† As the festivities crescendoed with Amnonís drunkenness, Absalom gave orders for his servants to assassinate his brother.† †Davidís other sons, fearful of Absalomís wrath, fled hastily from the celebration.† Servants brought an errant message to David that all his sons had been killed. Eventually, the grieving sons returned to their father, and they mourned together for the violence that tore apart the royal family.
C. Absalom sojourn in Geshur (vv. 37-39): As David grieved for Amnon, Absalom fled to motherís Syrian family, in Geshur.† He remained with his maternal grandfather for three years, and Davidís heart longed for his wayward son.
Absalomís Return to
Joabís deception (vv. 1-24): The kingís general
realized that David continued to grieve over Absalom; so, Joab took matters
into his own hands in an effort to reconcile father and son.† Joab convinced a woman of Tekoa to tell an
elaborate lie to David in an effort to arouse the kingís willingness to bring
Absalom back to
B. An uneasy reconciliation (vv. 25-33): Absalom married (three wives) and began a family, but he still did not see his father.† He grew impatient with the situation and sent for Joab to intercede. Joab refused Absalomís overtures, and, in a fit of anger, Absalom burned Joabís barley crop to get the generalís attention.† Finally, David and Absalom, after a five-year estrangement, met and embraced each other.
III. The Early Stages of Absalomís Rebellion (15:1-37)
efforts to disaffect the hearts of the Israelites (vv. 1-6): For four years
Absalom waited at the gates of
establishment of a new capital at
IV. Davidís Further Humiliation (16:1-23)
betrayal of Mephibosheth (vv. 1-4): Ziba, the former servant of King Saul,
reported that Mephibosheth, a man to whom David had shown great kindness, had
B. The scorn of Shimei (vv. 5-14): As David traveled, a kinsman of Saul cursed the beleaguered king.† One of Davidís supporters wanted to kill the insolent man, but David refused to take vengeance.† Eventually, Shimei sought Davidís forgiveness (See II Samuel 19:16-23).† Solomon, after Davidís death, had Shimei executed (See I Kings 2:39-46)
C. Ahithophelís treachery (vv. 15-23): Ahithopel, Davidís former counselor, advised Absalom to violate his fatherís concubines.† This disgraceful act confirmed Absalomís intent to displace and demean his father.
Civil War in
A. The demise of Ahithophel (17:1-29): Ahithophel proposed a battle plan that aimed at the assassination of David, but Hushai, Davidís spy, convinced Absalom to follow an alternate plan.† Ahithophel realized that he had lost the confidence of Absalom, and the unfaithful counselor returned to his home and committed suicide.
defeat of Absalom (18:1-33): David divided his troops into here companies and
attacked Absalom in the
VI. The Aftermath of Absalomís Rebellion (19:1-43)
concern about Davidís grief (vv. 1-15): Davidís grief prevented him from
celebrating victory with his people, and Joab feared that the king would
alienate the faithful men of
B. The pardon of Shimei (vv. 16-23): Shimei, the man who cursed David, fell before the king to ask forgiveness for his insurrection.† The kingís aides advised David to kill Shimei, but David gave an oath that he would spare Shimeiís life.
C. Reconciliation with Mephibosheth (vv. 24-30): Mephiboshethís loyalty to David had come in question, but the crippled man clamed that he had not accompanied David because a servant had deceived him.† Itís difficult to determine Mephibosheth integrity in this affair, but David determined to divide Mephiboshethís inheritance between Saulís kinsman and Ziba.
encounter with Barzillai (vv. 31-43): David honored an elderly man who had
shown the king great kindness; in fact, David wanted Barzillai to come to
The Rebellion of Sheba (20:1-26): Our lesson material
concludes with a brief account of an insurrection led by a man named