“Absalom said to Joab, ““Look, I sent word to you and said, “‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, ““Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!””’ Now then, I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.”
~ 2 Samuel 14:32


Hi James and Ellen,

Are you an Absalom? An Absalom is a really good looking dude. The real Absalom was considered to be the handsomest guy in Israel’s land area. There was nothing physically wrong at all with Absalom. Absalom’s hair was especially thick. Absalom was David’s third oldest son. Absalom’s ma was Maacah. Amnon was David’s oldest son. Amnon’s ma was Ahinoam. David’s second oldest son was Kileab. Kileab’s ma was Abigail. Absalom had other half-bros. Solomon was one of Absalom’s half-bros. Solomon probably was quite a bit younger than Absalom. Absalom had a sis whose name was Tamar. Tamar was a beautiful gal. Absalom’s half-bro Amnon – after faking being sick, physically molested Absalom’s sis. A couple of years later and because Absalom could not get past what Amnon did to his sis when Amnon forced himself on her, Absalom murdered his half-bro. Absalom – after he killed Amnon, knew that he could no longer stay in the city of Jerusalem. Absalom knew that Amnon’s family had the right to kill him for what he did to Amnon. Absalom fled to the town of Geshur. The town of Geshur was where his ma – Maacah, was from. Maacah’s dad – Talmai, was or had been king over the guys and gals who were living in the town of Geshur. The town of Geshur was located in the country of Syria. The country of Syra was situated on the east side of the Jordon River. Would you like to be an Absalom now? Would you like to be kids in a family that is dysfunctional? Even though David became known as a ‘man of God, David stumbled at times being a husband and dad. It probably was not culturally wrong 3000 years ago – when David was the second king over the Israelite people group guys and gals – God’s specially chosen guys and gals, for David to have more than one wife. The end result though of having more than one wife were some stomach churning heartaches for David. Amnon – David’s oldest kid, did something abominably immoral to his half-sis – one of David’s other kids, which he absolutely had no conscionable right to do. Even though David knew what Amnon had done to Tamar and even though David was really angry with Amnon for what he had done, David did absolutely nothing to punish Amnon for doing what he did. Because his dad would not do anything about Amnon’s appalling moral lapse, Absalom took it upon himself to avenge his sis. This led to more roiling stomach pains for David.

Joab was one of Zeruiah’s kids. Zeruiah was a half-sis of David. David chose Joab to take on the responsibility of being the commander of his army. Joab was David’s confidant or go to guy. When David wanted Uriah out of the way so that he could marry Bathsheba – who was Uriah’s wife, David sent a note to Joab to put Uriah on the front line where Uriah would be killed. Joab had earlier treacherously killed a guy out of vengeance. The guy – Abner, had shown up Joab in a fight. Abner had killed a guy in self-defense. The guy – Asahel, was one of Joab’s good buddies. Joab refused to forget what Abner did to Asahel so he . . . Joab comes across as being really loyal towards David. When Joab saw that David was not going to stop pining about the fact that his kid Absalom was living miles and miles away from him, Joab decided that he needed to do something about it. Joab got together with a wise gal from the town of Tekoa to fabricate a story that would have David letting Absalom return to the city of Jerusalem to live. The one caveat for letting Absalom return to the city of Jerusalem was that Absalom would not be able to see his dad. After a couple of years of living in the same city where his dad was living and not being able to see his dad, Absalom began insisting to Joab that it was time for him to have dad time again. When Joab kept telling Absalom that it was just not going to happen, Absalom told his servants to burn Joab’s barley field.

The Samuel Books editor did not hesitate to document the foibles of David and his kids. The Samuel Books editor recounts in 2 Samuel 14 David’s obsessive yearning – in spite of what Absalom had done to another one of his kids, to see Absalom. David probably in some ways could identify with his kid as David himself had obvious, serious blemishes in his own life. How David handled his missteps or unfortunate moral lapses is not how Absalom handled his blunders and intentional actions. David went to God to ask for forgiveness. God showed David mercy. God would forgive David. Absalom did not go to God for forgiveness. God did not show Absalom mercy. God could not forgive Absalom as Absalom did not ask for forgiveness from Him for what he did; Absalom was only concerned of his ‘poor me’ self. Verse 32 says, “Absalom said to Joab, ““Look, I sent word to you and said, “‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, ““Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!””’ Now then, I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.”” Absalom was essentially threatening Joab. Absalom had already burned Joab’s barely field. Joab probably knew that he had better humor this pompous brat or he just might find his house burned down, too, or . . . so Joab went to David and got David to meet up with Absalom. Even though Absalom showed no contriteness for what he had done, David forgave him. David also restored and reconciled Absalom again into the royal family. Because Absalom wanted a full pardon from his dad, David let Absalom off without asking him to repent of having murdered Amnon. Do you know a kid who comes from a dysfunctional home? Do you know a kid who is always pushing his or her dad and/or ma around? What do you think a kid will do if his or her dad and/or ma caves into his or her egotistic expectations? Ask your dad how often he got his way with his dad and/or ma to do or get something that he wanted to do or have?

2 Samuel 14 (798)