I am convinced that the three greatest things for the healing of a relationship are Love, Acceptance, and Forgiveness. This story has got to be one of the saddest in all of scripture. Here are a father and a son, both of whom loved each other, but they died as enemies. It didn’t have to be that way. There are undoubtedly some damaged relationships here today. Can we learn some lessons from the story of David and Absalom?
SCRIPTURE: II Samuel Chapters 13-18
I. Absalom ‘s grievance with his father, David
A. Amnon was David’s oldest son
B. Absalom and his sister Tamar were born of a different mother than Amnon
C. Amnon burned with lust for his half-sister Tamar…tricked her and raped her.
D. Because of his powerful position as the legal heir, nothing was done about his crime.
E. Absalom seethed with frustrated anger for two years…anger at Amnon for what he had done to Tamar…anger at his own failure to retaliate…and anger at his father for his failure to avenge Tamar’s disgrace.
F. Though David was able to forgive Amnon for what he had done, he failed to communicate this to Absalom.
G. There appears to be little communication in the King’s family.
II. Absalom ‘s chosen course of action
A. Important to remember that he had a choice
B. What should he have done? Go to his father and discuss his inner feelings!
C. INSTEAD: He seethed with anger and bitterness for two years, plotting vengeance on Amnon, finally killing him.
D. QUESTION: Honestly, how many of you gave a silent cheer for Absalom for what he did?
E. IT SEEMS THAT JUSTICE WAS DONE: BUT…There is a way that seemeth right unto man, but the end thereof is death…”
F. THEN: He went into self-imposed exile for three years
III. The tragedy of unspoken love
A. David loved Absalom (see II Samuel 13:39) “the spirit of the king longed to go to Absalom…”
B. He had forgiven Absalom: “…he was consoled concerning Amnon’s death…”
C. BUT…for three years he did not follow his heart and go to Absalom; only after a wise woman tricked him did he send for his son Absalom… Mr. MACHO wouldn’t bend!
D. NOTE ALSO: Absalom loved David (II Samuel 14:32)”…I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.”
IV. The sad, cold encounter: (II Samuel 14:33)
A. Don’t let the word “kissed” mislead you; this was a formal, ritualistic greeting
B. The clue is what is NOT said; there are no tears of repentance, there are no cries for forgiveness, no explanations, no joyous reunion…just cold formality!
C. Even after sending Joab after Absalom, David and his son live for two years in the same city and never see each other!
D. They loved each other, but their STUBBORNNESS KEPT THEM APART!
V. The tragic end
A. In the very next verse (II Samuel 15:1) Absalom begins his treacherous plot to take his father’s throne.
B. In the ensuing battle his hair gets caught in a tree.
C. Joab spears him with three spears and he is killed by Joab’s armor bearers.
D. News is brought to David of his son’s death
E. The scene closes with King David weeping, “Oh Absalom, my son, oh Absalom my son”
What might have been? If only foolish pride had not gotten in the way. “Like father, like son”. David and Absalom sinned the same sin, both lacked the courage to say “I love you!” If you have sinned that sin, will you today confess it to God, and then be reconciled to whomever you need to?Taken from Dr. Arnold Lastinger’s personal sermon notes collection