The King David And Absalom Story

What a story, Absalom the son of King David, decided to overthrow his father from the throne. This put David in a very difficult position.

Because Absalom was his son, David didn’t want to fight back and kill him. So he fled from the city. He did, however, devise a plan.

The king also told Zadok the priest, “Look, here is my plan. You and Abiathar should return quietly to the city with your son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan. I will stop at the shallows of the Jordan River and wait there for a report from you.”  2 Samuel 15:27-28

Let’s review the story of king David and his son Absalom. Absalom had a sister named Tamar who was raped by their half-brother Amnon.

Absalom took revenge on Amnon and killed him. Therefore, David banished him from Jerusalem. But with the help of Joab, David allowed Absalom back into the city.

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For four years Absalom worked on a plot to overthrow his father’s throne. He began by stealing the hearts of all the people of Israel.

When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn’t let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them. Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel.   2 Samuel 15:5-6

Absalom got David’s permission to go to Hebron to make a sacrifice to God. But while he was there he put his plan into action.

But while he was there, he sent secret messengers to all the tribes of Israel to stir up a rebellion against the king. “As soon as you hear the ram’s horn,” his message read, “you are to say, ‘Absalom has been crowned king in Hebron.’” 2 Samuel 15:10

Absalom’s Takeover

David received the news of Absalom’s takeover. So, for the sake of his family and the city of Jerusalem he fled from the palace.

We must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.” 2 Samuel 15:14

The story didn’t end there. Years earlier, God personally chose David to reign as the next king of Israel after Saul. And the Lord hadn’t released him of that call.

In Psalm 30, David laid out a template of how to experience victory. You can read this related post called How To Experience Victory, Healing And Life.

Applying the Story of King David and Absalom

King David And Absalom Story

So, how can we apply this story of king David and Absalom to our lives? Even though Absalom was David’s son, he became his enemy and tried to defeat him.

We also have an enemy called the devil. He will use whatever means he can to deceive and defeat us. Just as Absalom tried to do with David.

Even after his father forgave him and allowed him back into the city, Absalom turned against him. All the while influencing the people to follow him.

The king, however, didn’t react to what was happening. Instead, he took some advice that Moses gave to the children of Israel.

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. Exodus 14:13

Years ago I served as a youth pastor. During that time an issue came up that dealt with the senior pastor. We knew the issue would be discussed at the next board meeting.

The accusation against the pastor was false. So, I asked him what he was planning on saying in his defense. He told me something I will never forget.

He said, “The Lord told me a long time ago, ‘when you try to defend yourself then I can’t defend you.’” The Lord continued with, “stay quiet and I will defend you.”

I’m glad I was there to see what happened in that board meeting. The pastor never said a word. He was vindicated while the focus moved away from him altogether.

David, A Man After God’s Own Heart

We can learn important lessons from the story of how King David handled the uprising of Absalom. The king recognized God as his strength and he patiently waited on the Lord.

These are a couple of reasons why God considered David a man after His own heart. He also wrote the following words in the Psalms and backed them up by his actions.

  • The Lord is a shelter for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you. Psalm 9:9-10
  • The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. Psalm 28:7
  • Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

The way he lived his life also became an example for those who knew him. Again his actions backed up the advice that he wrote in Psalm 62.

O my people, trust in him at all times. Pour out your heart to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:8

Lord, help us to trust in you at all times. We recognize you as our refuge and we pour out our hearts to you.

Check out these other “stories” I have written about.

Check out these great posts about when things get difficult.

Check out the entire chapter of 2 Samuel 15.



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