With Absalom dead, Joab blows the trumpet to end the battles and the civil war is over. Except David is still in exile. Now we have a guilty nation and a vindicated king, and the question that remains is how to restore the relationship. How do you approach your king after you’ve been sinful or rebellious?
2 Samuel 18 is the climatic battle for the throne. But instead of highlighting the ferocity of the battle, the spotlight focuses on David’s anxiety over his son, and how the news of Absalom’s death impacts him, especially when he learns that the price of rebellion is the death of his son. It is a price David cannot bear to pay, but it is a price God pays for us. David’s grief gives us a glimpse of the price our heavenly father was willing to pay on our behalf.
As we’ve studied the rebellion of Absalom, we’ve been asking what we can learn about responding when we sin, understanding the discipline of our heavenly father, and how to respond when suffering unjustly. With 2 Samuel 17 we focus on these questions from God’s perspective.
How should you respond when suffering unjustly? As David flees Jerusalem, he is used and abused by two members of Saul’s family. We can learn from his example how to bear unjust suffering.
What do you do when you fail in a big way and your failure matters? Your mistake has big consequences for other people? How should you respond? That’s the situation David is facing in our story today.
The conflict between appearance and reality is the theme of our story today. As we’ll see, what appears to be wisdom and repentance is not.