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Absalom's Conspiracy Story

Chasing After the Heart of God  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Narrative of the End of Davids Life

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Now it came about after this that Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses and fifty men as runners before him.

2 Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way to the gate; and when any man had a suit to come to the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”

3 Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but no man listens to you on the part of the king.”

4 Moreover, Absalom would say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has any suit or cause could come to me and I would give him justice.”

5 And when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him.

6 In this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel.

David sought the presence of the LORD.

We have been gathering all the numbers from your generosity from last year and what we accomplished as a church and it a lot, and we can’t wait to share it with you. We have also been praying through plans and changes that we need to make as a church in 2018 to make sure that we are doing everything we can to chase down Our Mission of Glorifying God. In 2 weeks, On January 28th we want to present all of that information to you and Pastor Scott will be sharing his vision of 2018 with you during what we is known around here as “The Big Day.”
Then February 4th we will start a new sermon series called “Believe.” As a church we will be walking through the Gospel of John. Excited to see what God does during that extended sermon series.
Come’ On Man! – If we do these things we will restore relationships and prevent future hurt.
Confront Wrong Behavior
With that being said, Pastor Scott told me how he was going to end “Chasing after the Heart of God,” and then said, and I quote, “I don’t know how, but you need to cover from -the end”… umm…, say what?!
· Communicate Face to Face
As I read and reread this portion of scripture, I find it to be so sad, anti-climatic, and shocking.
Communicate Face to Face
Here is our Hero. I mean, for Jews and Christians, King David is our Hero.
Reconcile Quickly
· Reconcile Quickly
Absalom - Focused on Building His own Kingdom
· He is the boy who has killed bears, and lions
Dad, if your aren’t going to rule the people, I will
· He walked up to a Giant, when no one else would, and cut off his head with the Giant’s own sword.
And since you aren’t going to stop me for ruling the people, I’m going to become king
o Why did he have to use the giant’s sword? Because David decided it would be a good idea to just face Goliath with a slingshot
· David was so good at guitar, that King Saul had him come in and play Smooth Jazz to calm his temper.
· He takes that guitar and writes a ton of Psalms
The Story
· When King Saul is chasing Him down to kill him, David, with the perfect chance to kill Saul, spares his life because he is loyal to the king, and faithful to God.
· David is the one who brings the Ark to Jerusalem
o As he bringing it in, dances naked in the streets
· He is a strong leader, a mighty warrior, and leads Israel in victory after victory…
Until he doesn’t, until he is sin puts so much shame on his life.
Last week Pastor Scott talked about the weight of the shame and challenged us to get free of our the condemnation of our sin.
As I story told about the return of the King Saul and David to Jerusalem after defeating Goliath and the Palestinians… I am going to story tell so you can get the picture of the end of David’s reign as king. More so how tragic sin is when we do not deal with.
Now I said as I am reading these chapters, I realized how shocking it is.
You know when you get new Cable or Satellite and your provider gives you 3 free months of HBO, Starz, and Cinemax. And you have heard so much about a show or a movie and you decide to watch it.
Then that screen comes up…
Welcome to the Feature Presentation… This Program Contains
· Adult Content
· Adult Language
· Graphic Violence
· Nudity
· Sexual Situations
Welp!!!! Can’t Watch that.
Funny, story… I re-upped my contract with my satellite provider 2 years ago, Brandon Lehmann was living with me at the time and we got our 3 free months, but decide to call and ask them to remove the channels. You should have heard that conversation! The poor guy on the other side of the phone could not fathom why we didn’t want free channels. To make the guy feel better I let him give me free MLB TV!
I don’t care which TV Show it is, or movie, or drama it is…
They don’t have anything on this portion of Scripture…
It has it all
· Adult Content
· Adult Language
· Incest
· Adultery
· Murder
· Graphic Violence
· Intense Sexual Situations
· Nudity
· Backstabbing
· Betrayal
· Conspiracy
I’m serious, if they made a movie about David’s life and made it factual and true to life, no one in here could watch it. This actually goes for much of the bible, especially the Old Testament. The world is a very violent, sexual, dog eat dog, hopeless place. It remains that way until the grace of Christ comes into the world, until forgiveness of sin through Jesus.
Let me tell you the story… then we focus in on some scripture and talk about a few take aways. I do encourage you to go home and read the story for yourself, I am going to try to make it a simple as possible by taking out any extra names and tell you whom the main characters are.
We will begin in Chapter 13 where we were last week and then I will double down on the wisdom that Pastor Scott shared.
The Story
David’s first 7 Sons were all born to different women
· Amnon – whose mother was Ahinoam
· Chileab – whose mother was Abigail
· Absalom – whose mother was Maacah
· Adonijah – whose mother was Haggith
· Shephatiah – whose mother was Abital
· Ithream – whose mother was Eglah
· Unnamed Infant – Born to Bathsheba because of the Adulterous affair
· Solomon – Born to Bathsheba
7 Different Women… we know this is going to get ugly
The boy born to Bathsheba dies… the servants around David thought he was unstable and might kill himself when he found out that the baby had died.
Solomon and Nathan are born to Bathsheba and David goes off to war. When he captures the cities of King Ammom, David is on a rampage…
He also brought out the people who were in it, and set them under saws, sharp iron instruments, and iron axes, and made them pass through the brickkiln (fire). And thus he did to all the cities of the sons of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
Now. It was after that…
Absalom and Tamar are full brother and sister and are apparently very good looking.
Now in all Israel was no one as handsome as Absalom, so highly praised; from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no defect in him.
starts out with Amnon wanting to be with his ½ sister Tamar.
Amnon has a friend who convinces him to go through with a plan to get Tamar into bed. Amnon pretends to be sick and has Tamar make him some pancakes. He makes everyone leave the room except Tamar, who he asks her to feed him in bed. When she gets close enough, Amnon grabs her arm and with all the passion he can must says, “Come, lie with me, my sister.”
Tamar says, starts begging, “please don’t do this, it is disgraceful. How could I ever overcome the shame it would bring me. And you, you Amnon would be know as a fool.” She then says, just talk with you dad, talk with David the King! I’m sure he would give me to you and all would be fine.
But Amnon wouldn’t listen, and because he thought he was a man, because he was stronger, he raped her. When he was finished raping her, he hated her more than he had ever loved her. He told her to get out. She begged him not to send her away, that not wanting her now and sending her away was even more wrong than the rape.
Princesses wore robes with long sleeves to identify them as virgins. Tamar ripped her sleeves off, put ashes on her head and could do nothing but cry.
Absalom came to her and when she told him what happened, he told her to be quiet. He didn’t want to ruin her name, his brother’s name, his name, or their dad’s name. He though for sure that King David would handle it.
But when King David heard what had happened, scripture says “he became angry.” That’s all. That’s all David did, he got angry, but he didn’t do anything. Nothing!
Of course Absalom hated his brother Amnon. For 2 full years he didn’t say 1 single word to Amnon. But then Absalom threw a party because it was time to shear the sheep, and Absalom invited all his brothers. Scripture doesn’t identify them this way, it says that “Absalom invited all the king’s sons.” Absalom had removed himself as a son, he was taking matters into his own hands.
Absalom had a plan of his own, during the party, when his brother was “merry with wine” he would have his servants kill him. He told his servants to be courageous and valiant. He know that King David would do anything, maybe get angry and mourn, but they had nothing to worry about.
During the party Absalom’s servants killed Amnon. All the other brothers grab their mules and fled, headed for King David. Before they got there, David heard that all his sons had been killed and he ripped his garments and laid in the floor mourning. But that’s not what had happened and when David’s other sons got there they all wept together and mourned for their brother. Absalom had intended to kill Amnon since the day he raped his sister. David knew that, and David did nothing to Absalom for killing his son, a prince, and heir to the throne.
Scripture says, Absalom fled. And David mourned for his son every day. And for 3 years, the heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom.
Chapter 14
One of King David’s Commanders, Joab, knew king’s heart. He knew that he longed for his son, but was afraid and ashamed to go and get him. He came up with a plan of his own. He sent a “wise woman from Tekoa” to fabricate a story about her sons to resemble the David’s current situation. This is the same thing that Nathan the prophet had done. The Woman told the story. She had 2 sons and they had got into an argument and one brother murdered the other. Now the life of the other brother was in danger from the entire village and if he died the name of the family would be gone.
When King David makes his judgment and told her to bring the son to him so no one could harm him, the woman from Tekoa says, King, I am talking about you, you are the one who is guilty, in that you the king does not bring back his banished one.
King David figures out that is was Commander Joab who sent this woman. King David sent Joab to get Absalom and bring him back. But then was so ashamed that he wouldn’t face Absalom. So for 2 years Absalom lived in Jerusalem without ever seeing his father.
Absalom has no idea why he has come to Jerusalem if he can’t see his father. So, twice, Absalom sends for Commander Joab and he won’t come. Absalom then sets one of Commander Joab’s fields on fire to get his attention. He want’s to see his dad and get this over with. If there is any sin that has to be dealt with, then the king can deal with it. Commander Joab makes arrangements for Absalom to see the king. Absalom falls prostrate before David, but, when the kings sees his son, he kisses him. There was no recourse whatsoever!
Chapter 15
At this point Absalom knows that his dad isn’t going to do anything to him. And his rule is weak. The king is so ashamed that he can’t rule anyone or anything.
Absalom decides to start making David’s kingdom his kingdom. If his father isn’t going to be a king, he will.
Absalom puts together a daily parade of Pomp and circumstance.
· Absalom would ride to the gate of the city in a chariot.
· He had horses
· And fifty men
HE was letting everyone know who he was
When someone would come to the city needing judgment on an issue from the king. Absalom would stop them and say, there isn’t a representative of the king to listen to you. If only I could be that judge for you, then I could give everyone justice.
See his dad didn’t give justice to his sister Tamar nor to his brother Amnon, he isn’t going to give anyone justice. So Absalom will give justice and become the peoples king,
For four years, King David didn’t stop him. For four years, Absalom had a daily parade to the gate and when people fell prostrate before him, he would hold our his hand, help them up and kiss them.
In this way, Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. – .
After 4 years, Absalom knew that he had won the power of the people to take the throne from his father David. It was time for a coup d’etat, to over throw David as king.
Absalom went to King David and asked to go to Hebron to fulfill and vow, a vow to return and worship the Lord in Hebron. This sounds good and godly, but…
Absalom then sent spies throughout Israel, when you hear the trumpet to declare Absalom as king in Hebron.”
Why Hebron? Absalom is so smart. If you remember from , when David became king, he moved the Capital from Hebron to Jerusalem. This is still fresh on peoples minds, he is rallying Israel at its recently former capital. The term “king in Hebron” is the exact title they gave David in chapter 5.
Absalom then sends for Ahithophel, one of David’s trusted advisors and Ahithophel joins Absalom’s conspiracy.
A messenger came to David and said, “the hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”
David’s reaction should have been to rise up and strike the rebellion, but instead… he rises and says, “let us flee.” His servants looked at him and said, we are ready to do whatever you want us to do. They were ready to die for him.
But instead, he left 10 concubines to take care of the house and the rest ran.
His whole household ran along with 600 mercenaries, hired warriors.
The country wept for their king as he fled.
Get the picture… David still has an army of people willing to die for him, ready to fight, the people still love him, they are weeping for him, but he runs.
He runs through the Kidron Valley, into the caves that he knows so well.
At one point, David turns around and there are his 2 priests carrying the Ark of the covenant. David knows the ark doesn’t belong to him, it belongs to the people, so he sends them back with the ark to the city and to spy.
Now, if this part doesn’t put you on the edge of your seat and make your jaw drop you better check yourself. I could do entire sermon on these 2 verses.
30 And David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went, and his head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him each covered his head and went up weeping as they went.
31 Now someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, I pray, make the counsel of Ahithophel foolishness.”
If you didn’t catch it:
· David is on the Mount of Olives
· Crying for his life
· He is told that one of his trusted companions has conspired against him.
· He prays
Jesus is on the Mount of Olives
· He is crying for his life
· One of his trusted companions has conspired against him
· He prays
David prays that the Counsel of Ahithophel be foolishness.
At that moment another one of David’s advisors, Hushai ran up to him. King David sent him back to Absalom. Hushia convinced Absalom that he too was joining the coup, thus becoming one of Absalom’s advisors.
Absalom and all the men that had joined his conspiracy entered Jerusalem. And without one drop of blood, Absalom took Jerusalem and the throne of Israel. To show his dominance, Ahithophel advised Absalom to go on the roof of the kings house and in sight of all of Israel to rape the 10 concubines that David had left to take care of the house.
Chapter 17
Ahithophel, knowing that David and everyone with him would be exhausted from fleeing and knowing where David would have set up camp asked Absalom for 12,000 men to go and overwhelm the camp. He would only kill David, and then he would bring everyone else back to serve Absalom. This was actually very good advice and probably would have worked.
But Hushia steps in and says, this is bad advice,
“You know your father and his men, that they are mighty men and they are fierce, like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field. And your father is an expert in warfare, and will not spend the night with the people.
9 “Behold, he has now hidden himself in one of the caves or in another place; and it will be when he falls/kills on them at the first attack, that whoever hears it will say, ‘There has been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’
10 “And even the one who is valiant, whose heart is like the heart of a lion, will completely lose heart; for all Israel knows that your father is a mighty man and those who are with him are valiant men.”
The he says, all of Israel will rally behind you, so you personally should lead Israel out against David. Then all of Israel will know who is the true king.
Hushia, told 2 spies what he told Absalom and sent them back to David. But a boy, saw the 2 spies entering Jerusalem and told Absalom who sent men to find them. But a woman hid them in a well that she covered with grain and the spies were not found and they made their way to David.
When Ahithophel figured out that his plans were rejected, he knew that David was going to win the battle and that he had no future in David’s court.
Absalom and his army headed out across the Jordan after David.
David had set up camp among allies who brought out beds, showers, and food for everyone with David. So they were rested and feed.
Chapter 18
David then organized his army under 3 commanders. Ready to go fight with them, the people knew that the only life that Absalom wanted to take was David’s. So they made him stay back.
David asked that they deal gently with his son Absalom, it was obvious that David wanted him alive.
David’s men slaughtered 20,000 of Absalom’s men. David had forced the battle to be held on terrain his soldiers knew. Absalom’s men fell in crevasses, ravines, got lost in the thick woods.
This is mentioned because Absalom was riding his mule through the forest and didn’t duck far enough under an oak branch. He got his head caught in the fork of the branch, his horse kept going and left him hanging, but apparently didn’t kill him.
One of David’s men saw him hanging and went and told the Commander Joab. Joab asked him, “did you kill him?” The man said no, the orders from David was to “Protect the young man Absalom!” Joab immediately went to Absalom and thrust 3 spears into his heart. Joab’s armor bearers pulled Absalom out of the tree and killed him. Joab took Absalom’s body and threw it into pit in the forest and piled a heap of rocks on top.
Joab knew, that if he didn’t kill Absalom, that the war would continue and David’s life would still be in danger.
There is then a race between 2 men to tell David the news.
But when David finds out that Absalom has been killed he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
David by weeping and mourning for Absalom, David turns his victory into a time of mourning for all the people. Instead of coming back into the city victorious, the people quietly return to the city with their heads hung.
Commander Joab go upset with King David. These men have fought for you, they saved you, they saved your grandkids, they saved your wives! But you have put shame on their faces. You are telling them they are nothing to you and you wish, the man that was trying to kill you, you wish Absalom were alive and all of us were dead!
So the King David rose and went and sat in the gate so that all the people had to pass before him, the king.
3 Gates
1. Absalom sat at the David’s gate.
a. Dad, if you aren’t going to give justice to people, I WILL
b. If you aren’t going to rule, I WILL
c. If you are going to let me rule for 4 years and do nothing, I WILL BE KING
d. All of this would have been prevented if…
David didn’t let his sin lead him into inactivity.
The shame of sin, if not dealt with makes us disengage, you don’t know where to start. You feel down. You feel like you have lost. You don’t know even where to start to get out. And even if you did, why would it matter
This is why Pastor Scott wants you to be free of your shame.
· David is too focused on what he has lost, to see what he has.
· David is too focused on what he has lost, to see what he has.
a. He has lost his son’s
b. He has lost control
c. He has lost confidence
d. He has lost the hearts of the people
You cannot focus on what you have lost. What is lost is gone. What is done is done. Look around and see what you have.
If at any point, David would have looked up from his loss, from his shame.
Come On Man!
If we do these things we will restore relationships and prevent future hurt.
· Confront Wrong Behavior
o David did nothing when Amnon raped Tamar
o David did nothing when Absalom killed
o David did noting when Absalom sat at his gate
· Communicate Face to Face
o David did not want to face Absalom and deal with
· Reconcile Quickly
o David did not reconcile his relationship.
§ If he had
· Amnon would be alive
· Absalom would be alive
§ And Absalom would not have sat at his gate.
2. David Sat in the Gate
a. I want you to look at the wording in
b. So the king arose and sat in the gate. When they told all the people, saying, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate,” then all the people came before the king.
c. Where was David
i. Was he beside the gate?
ii. Was he at the gate?
iii. Was he leaning up against the gate post?
i. He finally faced reality
ii. He took his position in the middle of the gate
e. I’m Back
f. I’m the King
3. Your Gate
a. You have own your story
i. You cannot focus on what is lost – you don’t have time
ii. You may feel like you have lost
iii. You may feel down and out
iv. You may not know where to start
v. But you have to own your story
b. You have to Confront Sin in your life
i. You cannot let sin bind you up into inactivity
ii. You have to deal with your sin, if you don’t it will cause you to disengage.
iii. When you disengage, someone else will sit at your gate
c. You need to Communicate face to face
i. and ask forgiveness from those whom you have wronged
ii. or go give forgiveness to those who have wronged you
d. Reconcile Quickly
i. Don’t let things fester up
ii. The best place to stop sin is at the gate
iii. The best place to deal with gossip is at the gate
iv. The best place to deal with yourself is at the gate
v. Don’t let that stuff come into your life, stop it at the gate!
Our Hero David forgot who he was because the shame of sin.
He had to be reminded.
Don’t you forget who you are, because the shame of your sin has already been dealt with.
Let me remind you Christian who you are. You belong to the King of King and the Lord of Lords. Jesus has already dealt with your sin and shame on the cross. Now get out of your grave and live for Him.
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