My son Absalom…my son Absalom

Son Absalom

Wednesday 08/26/20 

Series: Thru the Bible

Message – My son Absalom…my son Absalom

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Thru the Bible: 2Sam. 16-19

At the beginning of our journey tonight, David is right where we left him atop the mount where he used to worship God.

There he met Hushai who came to him morning over all the terrible events leading to David’s flee from the palace in Jerusalem.

These were the words of that exchange which is a great lead into the first words of chapter 16…

“(31)  Then someone reported to David: “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” 

“LORD,” David pleaded, “please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”  

(32)  When David came to the summit where he used to worship God, there to meet him was Hushai the Archite with his robe torn and dust on his head.  (33)  David said to him, “If you go away with me, you’ll be a burden to me,  (34)  but if you return to the city and tell Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, my king! Previously, I was your father’s servant, but now I will be your servant,’ then you can counteract Ahithophel’s counsel for me.  (35)  Won’t Zadok and Abiathar the priests be there with you? Report everything you hear from the king’s palace to Zadok and Abiathar the priests.  (36)  Take note: their two sons, Zadok’s son Ahimaaz and Abiathar’s son Jonathan, are there with them. Send me everything you hear through them.”

2 Samuel 16:1-23,

David and Ziba

“(1) When David had gone a little beyond the summit, Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, was right there to meet him. He had a pair of saddled donkeys loaded with 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 bunches of summer fruit, and a skin of wine.  

(2)  The king said to Ziba, “Why do you have these?” 

Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride, the bread and summer fruit are for the young men to eat, and the wine is for those who become exhausted to drink in the desert.”  

(3)  “Where is your master’s son?” the king asked. 

“Why, he’s staying in Jerusalem,” Ziba replied to the king, “for he said, ‘Today, the house of Israel will restore my father’s kingdom to me.'”  

(4)  The king said to Ziba, “All that belongs to Mephibosheth is now yours!” 

“I bow before you,” Ziba said. “May you look favorably on me, my lord the king!”  

Shimei Curses David

“(5)  When King David got to Bahurim, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was just coming out. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he was yelling curses as he approached.  (6)  He threw stones at David and at all the royal servants, the people and the warriors on David’s right and left.  

(7)  Shimei said as he cursed: “Get out, get out, you worthless murderer!  (8)  The LORD has paid you back for all the blood of the house of Saul in whose place you rule, and the LORD has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. Look, you are in trouble because you’re a murderer!”  

(9)  Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut his head off!”  

(10)  The king replied, “Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? He curses me this way because the LORD told him, ‘Curse David!’ Therefore, who can say, ‘Why did you do that?'”  

(11)  Then David said to Abishai and all his servants, “Look, my own son, my own flesh and blood, intends to take my life–how much more now this Benjaminite! Leave him alone and let him curse me; the LORD has told him to.  (12)  Perhaps the LORD will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimei’s curses today.”  

Those who suffer wrongfully and bear it with patience and commit their soul to God in doing good – God is honored and they are blessed.

1Peter 2:21-25,

(21) For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps. (22) He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; (23) when reviled, He did not revile in return; when suffering, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to the One who judges justly. (24) He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; by His wounding you have been healed. (25) For you were like sheep going astray, but you have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.”

“(13)  So David and his men proceeded along the road as Shimei was going along the ridge of the hill opposite him. As Shimei went, he cursed David, and threw stones and dirt at him.  (14)  Finally, the king and all the people with him arrived exhausted, so they rested there.”

Absalom Enters Jerusalem

“(15)  Now Absalom and all the Israelites came to Jerusalem. Ahithophel was also with him.  

(16)  When David’s friend Hushai the Archite came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!”  

(17)  “Is this your loyalty to your friend?” Absalom asked Hushai. “Why didn’t you go with your friend?”  

(18)  “Not at all,” Hushai answered Absalom. “I am on the side of the one that the LORD, the people, and all the men of Israel have chosen. I will stay with him.  (19)  Furthermore, whom will I serve if not his son? As I served in your father’s presence, I will also serve in yours.”  

(20)  Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give me your advice. What should we do?”  

(21)  Ahithophel replied to Absalom, “Sleep with your father’s concubines he left to take care of the palace. When all Israel hears that you have become repulsive to your father, everyone with you will be encouraged.”  

(22)  So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.  

(23)  Now the advice Ahithophel gave in those days was like someone asking about a word from God–such was the regard that both David and Absalom had for Ahithophel’s advice.”

2 Samuel 17:1-29, 

Hushai Saves David

“(1) Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Let me choose 12,000 men, and I will set out in pursuit of David tonight.  (2)  I will attack him while he is weak and weary, throw him into a panic, and all the people with him will scatter. I will strike down only the king  (3)  and bring all the people back to you. When everyone returns except the man you’re seeking, all the people will be at peace.”  

(4)  This proposal seemed good to Absalom and all the elders of Israel.  

(5)  Then Absalom said, “Summon Hushai the Archite also. Let’s hear what he has to say as well.”  

(6)  So Hushai came to Absalom, and Absalom told him: “Ahithophel offered this proposal. Should we carry out his proposal? If not, what do you say?”  

(7)  Hushai replied to Absalom, “The advice Ahithophel has given this time is not good.”  (8)  Hushai continued, “You know your father and his men. They are warriors and are desperate like a wild bear robbed of her cubs. Your father is an experienced soldier who won’t spend the night with the people.  (9)  He’s probably already hiding in one of the caves or some other place. If some of our troops fall first, someone is sure to hear and say, ‘There’s been a slaughter among the people who follow Absalom.’  (10)  Then, even a brave man with the heart of a lion will melt because all Israel knows that your father and the valiant men with him are warriors.  (11)  Instead, I advise that all Israel from Dan to Beer-sheba–as numerous as the sand by the sea–be gathered to you and that you personally go into battle.  (12)  Then we will attack David wherever we find him, and we will descend on him like dew on the ground. Not even one will be left of all the men with him.  (13)  If he retreats to some city, all Israel will bring ropes to that city, and we will drag its stones into the valley until not even a pebble can be found there.”  

(14)  Since the LORD had decreed that Ahithophel’s good advice be undermined in order to bring about Absalom’s ruin, Absalom and all the men of Israel said, “The advice of Hushai the Archite is better than Ahithophel’s advice.”  

THIS is what I have been telling you for years now. It was a vital piece of the puzzle we lacked when we were back in our Word of Faith days. God is both sovereign and Arbiter. He alone rules over the affairs of men. If He has decreed something, nothing can stop it.

Nothing here tells us whether God suspended Absalom’s freewill or not. It is more likely that God simply placed in the heart of Hushai a plan which God in His complete understanding of us knew that Absalom would buy.

This is VERY much like what happens later on in 1Kings 22 when God abitrates the fate of King Ahab.

“(15)  Hushai then told the priests Zadok and Abiathar, “This is what Ahithophel advised Absalom and the elders of Israel, and this is what I advised.  (16)  Now send someone quickly and tell David, ‘Don’t spend the night at the wilderness ford of the Jordan, but be sure to cross over, or the king and all the people with him will be destroyed.'”  

(17)  Jonathan and Ahimaaz were staying at En-rogel, where a servant girl would come and pass along information to them. They in turn would go and inform King David, because they dared not be seen entering the city.  (18)  However, a young man did see them and informed Absalom. So the two left quickly and came to the house of a man in Bahurim. He had a well in his courtyard, and they climbed down into it.  (19)  Then his wife took the cover, placed it over the mouth of the well, and scattered grain on it so nobody would know anything.  

(20)  Absalom’s servants came to the woman at the house and asked, “Where are Ahimaaz and Jonathan?” 

“They passed by toward the water,” the woman replied to them. 

The men searched but did not find them, so they returned to Jerusalem.  (21)  After they had gone, Ahimaaz and Jonathan climbed out of the well and went and informed King David. They told him, “Get up and immediately ford the river, for Ahithophel has given this advice against you.”  

(22)  So David and all the people with him got up and crossed the Jordan. By daybreak, there was no one who had not crossed the Jordan.  (23)  When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He set his affairs in order and hanged himself. So he died and was buried in his father’s tomb.  

(24)  David had arrived at Mahanaim by the time Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel.  

(25)  Now Absalom had appointed Amasa over the army in Joab’s place. Amasa was the son of a man named Ithra the Israelite; Ithra had married Abigail daughter of Nahash. Abigail was a sister to Zeruiah, Joab’s mother.  (26)  And Israel and Absalom camped in the land of Gilead.  

(27)  When David came to Mahanaim, Shobi son of Nahash from Rabbah of the Ammonites, Machir son of Ammiel from Lo-debar, and Barzillai the Gileadite from Rogelim  (28)  brought beds, basins, and pottery items. They also brought wheat, barley, flour, roasted grain, beans, lentils,  (29)  honey, curds, sheep, and cheese from the herd for David and the people with him to eat. 

They had reasoned, “The people must be hungry, exhausted, and thirsty in the desert.”

2 Samuel 18:1-33, 

Absalom Killed

“(1) David reviewed his troops and appointed commanders of hundreds and of thousands over them.  (2)  He then sent out the troops, one third under Joab, one third under Joab’s brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and one third under Ittai the Gittite. 

The king said to the troops, “I will also march out with you.”  

(3)  “You must not go!” the people pleaded. “If we have to flee, they will not pay any attention to us. Even if half of us die, they will not pay any attention to us because you are worth 10,000 of us. Therefore, it is better if you support us from the city.”  

(4)  “I will do whatever you think is best,” the king replied to them. 

So he stood beside the gate while all the troops marched out by hundreds and thousands.  

(5)  The king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, “Treat the young man Absalom gently for my sake.” All the people heard the king’s orders to all the commanders about Absalom.  

(6)  Then David’s forces marched into the field to engage Israel in battle, which took place in the forest of Ephraim.  (7)  The people of Israel were defeated by David’s soldiers, and the slaughter there was vast that day–20,000 casualties.  (8)  The battle spread over the entire region, and that day the forest claimed more people than the sword.  (9)  Absalom was riding on his mule when he happened to meet David’s soldiers. When the mule went under the tangled branches of a large oak tree, Absalom’s head was caught fast in the tree. The mule under him kept going, so he was suspended in midair.  (10)  One of the men saw him and informed Joab. He said, “I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree!”  

(11)  “You just saw him!” Joab exclaimed. “Why didn’t you strike him to the ground right there? I would have given you 10 silver pieces and a belt!”  

(12)  The man replied to Joab, “Even if I had the weight of 1,000 pieces of silver in my hand, I would not raise my hand against the king’s son. For we heard the king command you, Abishai, and Ittai, ‘Protect the young man Absalom for me.’  (13)  If I had jeopardized my own life–and nothing is hidden from the king–you would have abandoned me.”  

(14)  Joab said, “I’m not going to waste time with you!” He then took three spears in his hand and thrust them into Absalom’s heart while he was still alive in the oak tree,  (15)  and 10 young men who were Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him, and killed him.  

(16)  Afterwards, Joab blew the ram’s horn, and the troops broke off their pursuit of Israel because Joab restrained them.  (17)  They took Absalom, threw him into a large pit in the forest, and piled a huge mound of stones over him. And all Israel fled, each to his tent.  

(18)  When he was alive, Absalom had erected for himself a pillar in the King’s Valley, for he had said, “I have no son to preserve the memory of my name.” So he gave the pillar his name. It is still called Absalom’s Monument today.”

David Hears of Absalom’s Death

“(19)  Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Please let me run and tell the king the good news that the LORD has delivered him from his enemies.”  

(20)  Joab replied to him, “You are not the man to take good news today. You may do it another day, but today you aren’t taking good news, because the king’s son is dead.”  

(21)  Joab then said to the Cushite, “Go tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed to Joab and took off running.  

(22)  However, Ahimaaz son of Zadok persisted and said to Joab, “No matter what, please let me run too behind the Cushite!” 

Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to run since you won’t get a reward?”  

(23)  “No matter what I want to run!” 

“Then run!” Joab said to him. 

So Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite.  (24)  David was sitting between the two gates when the watchman went up to the roof of the gate and over to the wall. The watchman looked out and saw a man running alone.  (25)  He called out and told the king. 

The king said, “If he’s alone, he bears good news.” As the first runner came closer,  (26)  the watchman saw another man running. He called out to the gatekeeper, “Look! Another man is running alone!” 

“This one is also bringing good news,” said the king.  

(27)  The watchman said, “The way the first man runs looks to me like the way Ahimaaz son of Zadok runs.” 

“This is a good man; he comes with good news,” the king commented.  

(28)  Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well,” and then bowed down to the king with his face to the ground. He continued, “May the LORD your God be praised! He delivered up the men who rebelled against my lord the king.”  

(29)  The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom all right?” 

Ahimaaz replied, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and your servant, I saw a big disturbance, but I don’t know what it was.”  

(30)  The king said, “Move aside and stand here.” So he stood to one side.”

David’s Grief

“(31)  Just then the Cushite came and said, “May my lord the king hear the good news: today the LORD has delivered you from all those rising up against you!”  

(32)  The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom all right?” 

The Cushite replied, “May what has become of the young man happen to the enemies of my lord the king and to all who rise up against you with evil intent.”  

(33)  The king was deeply moved and went up to the gate chamber and wept. As he walked, he cried, “My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!”

2 Samuel 19:1-43,  

Joab Rebukes David

“(1) It was reported to Joab, “The king is weeping. He’s mourning over Absalom.”  

(2)  That day’s victory was turned into mourning for all the troops because on that day the troops heard, “The king is grieving over his son.”  

(3)  So they returned to the city quietly that day like people come in when they are humiliated after fleeing in battle.  (4)  But the king hid his face and cried out at the top of his voice, “My son Absalom! Absalom, my son, my son!”  

(5)  Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have shamed all your soldiers–those who rescued your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, your wives, and your concubines.  (6)  You love your enemies and hate those who love you! Today you have made it clear that the commanders and soldiers mean nothing to you. In fact, today I know that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead, it would be fine with you!  (7)  “Now get up! Go out and encourage your soldiers, for I swear by the LORD that if you don’t go out, not a man will remain with you tonight. This will be worse for you than all the trouble that has come to you from your youth until now!”  

This was a good word and Joab as just the man to deliver it!

David Returns to Jerusalem

“(8)  So the king got up and sat in the gate, and all the people were told: “Look, the king is sitting in the gate.” 

Then they all came into the king’s presence. Meanwhile, each Israelite had fled to his tent.  (9)  All the people among all the tribes of Israel were arguing: “The king delivered us from the grasp of our enemies, and he rescued us from the grasp of the Philistines, but now he has fled from the land because of Absalom.  (10)  But Absalom, the man we anointed over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about restoring the king?”  

(11)  King David sent word to the priests, Zadok and Abiathar: “Say to the elders of Judah, ‘Why should you be the last to restore the king to his palace? The talk of all Israel has reached the king at his house.  (12)  You are my brothers, my flesh and blood. So why should you be the last to restore the king?’  (13)  And tell Amasa, ‘Aren’t you my flesh and blood? May God punish me and do so severely if you don’t become commander of the army from now on instead of Joab!'”  

(14)  So he won over all the men of Judah, and they sent word to the king: “Come back, you and all your servants.”  (15)  Then the king returned. When he arrived at the Jordan, Judah came to Gilgal to meet the king and escort him across the Jordan.”

David Pardons His Enemies

“(16)  Shimei son of Gera, a Benjaminite from Bahurim, hurried down with the men of Judah to meet King David.  (17)  There were 1,000 men from Benjamin with him. 

Ziba, an attendant from the house of Saul, with his 15 sons and 20 servants also rushed down to the Jordan ahead of the king.  (18)  They forded the Jordan to bring the king’s household across and do whatever the king desired.

When Shimei son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell down before the king  (19)  and said to him, “My lord, don’t hold me guilty, and don’t remember your servant’s wrongdoing on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. May the king not take it to heart.  (20)  For your servant knows that I have sinned. But look! Today I am the first one of the entire house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.”  

(21)  Abishai son of Zeruiah asked, “Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this, because he ridiculed the LORD’s anointed?”  

(22)  David answered, “Sons of Zeruiah, do we agree on anything? Have you become my adversary today? Should any man be killed in Israel today? Am I not aware that today I’m king over Israel?”  

(23)  So the king said to Shimei, “You will not die.” Then the king gave him his oath.  

(24)  Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson, also went down to meet the king. He had not taken care of his feet, trimmed his moustache, or washed his clothes from the day the king left until the day he returned safely.  

(25)  When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, “Mephibosheth, why didn’t you come with me?”  

(26)  “My lord the king,” he replied, “my servant Ziba betrayed me. Actually your servant said: ‘I’ll saddle the donkey for myself so that I may ride it and go with the king’–for your servant is lame.  (27)  Ziba slandered your servant to my lord the king. But my lord the king is like the Angel of God, so do whatever you think best.  (28)  For my grandfather’s entire family deserves death from my lord the king, but you set your servant among those who eat at your table. So what further right do I have to keep on making appeals to the king?”  

(29)  The king said to him, “Why keep on speaking about these matters of yours? I hereby declare: you and Ziba are to divide the land.”  

(30)  Mephibosheth said to the king, “Instead, since my lord the king has come to his palace safely, let Ziba take it all!”  

(31)  Barzillai the Gileadite had come down from Rogelim and accompanied the king to the Jordan River to see him off at the Jordan.  (32)  Barzillai was a very old man–80 years old–and since he was a very wealthy man, he had provided for the needs of the king while he stayed in Mahanaim.  

(33)  The king said to Barzillai, “Cross over with me, and I’ll provide for you at my side in Jerusalem.”  

(34)  Barzillai replied to the king, “How many years of my life are left that I should go up to Jerusalem with the king?  (35)  I’m now 80 years old. Can I discern what is pleasant and what is not? Can your servant taste what he eats or drinks? Can I still hear the voice of male and female singers? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?  (36)  Since your servant is only going with the king a little way across the Jordan, why should the king repay me with such a reward?  (37)  Please let your servant return so that I may die in my own city near the tomb of my father and mother. But here is your servant Chimham: let him cross over with my lord the king. Do for him what seems good to you.” 

(38)  The king replied, “Chimham will cross over with me, and I will do for him what seems good to you, and whatever you desire from me I will do for you.”  

(39)  So all the people crossed the Jordan, and then the king crossed. The king kissed Barzillai and blessed him, and Barzillai returned to his home.  

(40)  The king went on to Gilgal, and Chimham went with him. All the troops of Judah and half of Israel’s escorted the king.  

(41)  Suddenly, all the men of Israel came to the king. They asked him, “Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, take you away secretly and transport the king and his household across the Jordan, along with all of David’s men?”  

(42)  All the men of Judah responded to the men of Israel, “Because the king is our relative. Why does this make you angry? Have we ever eaten anything of the king’s or been honored at all?”  

(43)  The men of Israel answered the men of Judah: “We have 10 shares in the king, so we have a greater claim to David than you. Why then do you despise us? Weren’t we the first to speak of restoring our king?” But the words of the men of Judah were harsher than those of the men of Israel.”



I hope this teaching will challenge you and encourage you to place your trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord.

You have a special place in God’s family & kingdom. If you do not know Him, please use our ‘Contact Us‘ page and reach out so we may have the privilege of introducing you to the Lord. Neither money nor attendance at our church will be mentioned.

If you have been spiritually fed by this ministry and wish to give, we truly appreciate that and you may do so here, but all outreaches of this ministry are FREE for you and anyone to enjoy at no cost.


Hi my name is Mark and though I am opposed to titles, I am currently the only Pastor (shepherd/elder) serving our assembly right now.

I have been Pastoring in one capacity or another for nearly 30 years now, though never quite like I am today.

Early in 2009 the Lord revealed to me that the way we had structured our assembly (church) was not scriptural in that it was out of sync with what Paul modeled for us in the New Testament. In truth, I (like many pastors I am sure) never even gave this fundamental issue of church structure the first thought. I had always assumed that church structure was largely the same everywhere and had been so from the beginning. While I knew Paul had some very stringent things to say about the local assembly of believers, the point of our gatherings together and who may or may not lead, I never even considered studying these issues but assumed we were all pretty much doing it in numbers right?! Boy, I couldn't have been more wrong!

So needless to say, my discovery that we had been doing it wrong for nearly two decades was a bit of a shock to me! Now, this "revelation" that did not come about all at once but over the course of a few weeks. We were a traditional single pastor led congregation. It was a top-bottom model of ministry which is in part biblical, but not in the form of a monarchy.

The needed change did not come into focus until following 9 very intense months of study and discussions with those who were leaders in our church at the time.

We now understand and believe that the Bible teaches co-leadership with equal authority in each local assembly. Having multiple shepherds with God's heart and equal authority protects both Shepherds and sheep. Equal accountability keep authority and doctrine in check. Multiple shepherds also provides teaching with various styles and giftings with leadership skills which are both different and complementary.

For a while we had two co-pastors (elders) (myself and one other man) who led the church with equal authority, but different giftings. We both taught in our own ways and styles, and our leadership skills were quite different, but complimentary. We were in complete submission to each other and worked side-by-side in the labor of shepherding the flock.

Our other Pastor has since moved on to other ministry which has left us with just myself. While we currently only have one Pastor/Elder, it is our desire that God, in His faithfulness and timing, may bring us more as we grow in maturity and even in numbers.

As to my home, I have been married since 1995 to my wonderful wife Terissa Woodson who is my closest friend and most trusted ally.

As far as my education goes, I grew up in a Christian home, but questioned everything I was ever taught.

I graduated from Bible college in 1990 and continued to question everything I was ever taught (I do not mention my college in order to avoid being labeled).

Perhaps my greatest preparation for ministry has been life and ministry itself. To quote an author I have come to enjoy namely Fredrick Buechner in his writing entitled, Now and Then, "If God speaks to us at all other than through such official channels as the Bible and the church, then I think that He speaks to us largely through what happens to us...if we keep our hearts open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear Him, He is indeed speaking to us, and that, however little we may understand of it, His word to each of us is both recoverable and precious beyond telling." ~ Fredrick Buechner

Well that is about all there is of interest to tell you about me.

I hope our ministry here is a blessing to you and your family. I also hope that it is only a supplement to a local church where you are committed to other believers in a community of grace.

~God Bless!