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The Chronicles of David: The Consequences of Sin, “The Revenge of Absalom”

The Chronicles of David: The Consequences of Sin, “The Revenge of Absalom”

2 Samuel 13:23-33

23 And it came to pass, after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is near Ephraim; so Absalom invited all the king’s sons.

24 Then Absalom came to the king and said, “Kindly note, your servant has sheepshearers; please, let the king and his servants go with your servant.”

25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go now, lest we be a burden to you.” Then he urged him, but he would not go; and he blessed him.

26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.”

And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?”

27 But Absalom urged him; so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, “Watch now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon!’ then kill him. Do not be afraid. Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and valiant.”

29 So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and each one got on his mule and fled.

30 And it came to pass, while they were on the way, that news came to David, saying, “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left!”

31 So the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.

32 Then Jonadab the son of Shieh, David’s brother, answered and said, “Let not my lord suppose they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.

33 Now therefore, let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead. For only Amnon is dead.”

[1]  

Introduction

One of the cruelest forms of personal torture to the human heart is that of Revenge! Revenge is that thing that can literally cause a person to place themselves in a prison of pain.

Revenge is cruel, it will take your dreams away, destroy your joy, rob you of intimacy with the Lord and give you significant trust issues.

Revenge is ugly, sinful, debilitating, crippling, paralyzing, and un-forgetful. It makes you misbehave, not trust God, not lean or depend on God. Revenge is anti-god. It makes the person who is struggling with it believe they are God.

Revenge is more than getting even, it is more than settling the score. It is more than paying someone back. It is more than getting justice.

It is more than fixing a wrong that has been done to you. It is more than making yourself feel better. Revenge is evil, Revenge is sin.

Revenge is premeditated. Revenge is diabolical and Revenge has consequences, and when they are set in motion, it is irreversible.

Today we get to see what Happen when Absalom, was taken hostage by Hate and what happen when he became a prisoner of vengeance. Because of sin in his heart it gave birth to murder, and the consequences of his sin lived on in the family of David.

Background:

On last week, we learned that David’s family, was highly dysfunctional. David had an older son named Ammon, who raped his half-sister Tamar.

His half-brother Absalom, took his little sister Tamar into his home and became a covering for her because her father David would not.

We learned all of this happened in David’s household because David’s previous sin with Bathsheba.  The Lord had told David through the prophet, that because of his rebellion against God, his murder of Uriah, his sin with Bathsheba, that the sword was never going to leave his house, and the child that she had with David was going to die.

The Lords words came to pass. The consequences of David’s actions and sin has taken root in his own home. He has now begun to pay dearly for his rebellion against God. What a tragedy, what a shame, what a crisis has come to this family, because of the behavior of a father.

We learned that God will not be mocked, and that what so ever a man sows that shall he also reap.

David sowed these sins and now he is reaping the consequences. Today’s narrative is a part of David’s actions. Because of his sin of murder, it has found his place in his own house.

Absalom becomes a picture for the believer of one who is carrying hurts, pain, un-forgiveness, bitterness, hatred, anger, daddy issues, step family drama and sin in the heart against God.

He can teach us what not to do in a fallen world filled with sin. There are three things I would like to point out today for our learning. I pray that the Lord will help us to grow in his grace, and deliver us from the evil, that longs to live in the heart.

  1. Absalom’s Devilish Invitation
  2. Absalom’s Devilish Initiative
  3. Absalom’s Devilish InsolenceI. Absalom’s Devilish Invitation

23 And it came to pass, after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is near Ephraim; so Absalom invited all the king’s sons.

24 Then Absalom came to the king and said, “Kindly note, your servant has sheepshearers; please, let the king and his servants go with your servant.”

25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go now, lest we be a burden to you.” Then he urged him, but he would not go; and he blessed him.

26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.”

And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?”

27 But Absalom urged him; so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.

Note:

When we arrive at this portion of the text, we get to see a devilish invitation from the mind and the heart of Absalom.

I call this invitation devilish, because it is done from a heart of hatred. (see the previous verse) Absalom has waited for two years to get even. Now he has an opportunity...

According to the text it has been two long years since the rape of his little sister Tamar by his step brother Ammon.

In those two years, Absalom has not talked with or talked to his brother or anyone about the violation that's taken place. (see the previous verse)

In that time, he has invested in his own business as the kings third son. He has prospered in shepherding, and is now preparing to reap a major profit from his entrepreneurial endeavors.

The text says that he has sheep-shearers and they are preparing to shear and sale the wool of the sheep in his business. This is a time of great celebration and profit.

Absalom is designing this opportunity to do evil against his brother and his father. He has plans to have a party, to get revenge on the two men who should have protected his sister, but instead abused and did nothing to protect her.

Notice:

Absalom asked the king if he and his servants would go with him to celebrate.

  1. He asked after he had already invited his brothers.
  2. He asked knowing that it would be improper for the king and all his servants to go down to his son’s business and celebrate.
  3. He asked knowing that he does not have resources like that, to feed all the servants in the king’s palace, he knows that the king will not stoop to come to this business grand-opening.
  4. He asked because his purpose is not to honor the king but to hurt the king.
  5. He asked because he only really wants for Ammon (his step brother) to come to the shearing transaction, because he has vengeance in his heart against Ammon and he hates him.
  6. Ammon is the first born to the throne, and since David, did nothing to Ammon for his offense to Tamar, Absalom wants to do harm to both men.

When we come to verse twenty-six we see the real motive for Absalom asking for the king’s permission.

26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.”

And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?”

27 But Absalom urged him; so he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him.”

According to this verse he only wants Ammon to come….

  • Ammon can represent the king as his heir to the throne…if David will not come
  • Ammon can represent the king as the first-born son… If David will not come
  • Ammon can represent the king as he is next in line in authority of the family…

But really, he desires to kill him and he hates him, that’s why he wants him to come.

Note:

  • I find this interesting that David asks why should he come?
  • It’s almost as if David suspects that something isn't right?
  • Perhaps their father knows that these two sons have not been talking.
  • Perhaps he knows that these two sons don’t get along!
  • Perhaps he has tried to isolate Ammon and keep him from his daughter Tamar, who he knows lives with her brother Absalom.
  • Whatever the case is…Absalom deceives his father, betrays his trust, ignores his throne, authority and oversight. To do harm to his big brother whom he hates.

Observation:

This invitation is a devilish invitation because it is developed in deception.

This invitation is designed to mislead, to do harm, and to get revenge against those who have caused him harm.

This invitation is given by Absalom to hurt Ammon, and David because he is harboring daddy issues in his heart and he remembers that David did nothing to protect his sister or defend her honor.

Application:

Is there anybody here that has ever been here before?

Have you ever thought about getting even against the one who hurt you?

Have you ever plotted to get to even?

Have you ever thought of schemes that could hurt somebody?

If so then you understand Absalom’s revenge!

You can understand how sinful the human heart can be!

You too can understand that devilish motive to plan, plot, premeditate and position yourself to get revenge through a devilish invitation.

Absalom is on a mission, to sin against his brother, his father, his family and his God.

Because of where his heart is his mind is working overtime to get even with everybody who had something to do with Tamar’s violation.

Note:

 I’m never going to agree with Absalom’s devilish invitation…but I do understand.

Story:

In 1993 my little brother murdered in a drive by shooting in Los Angeles…. we have never found the shooter, never closed the case, never gotten closure behind his murder…and like Absalom there were days and months that I wanted revenge…

There were devilish invitations to settle the matter by taking up arms and killing one of theirs for taking one of ours….

I don’t agree with Absalom’s invitation…but I do understand.

Question:

  • Can I tell somebody, that the devil will invite you to get even against those who have wronged you…?
  • Can I tell you that your flesh will suggest for you to get even!
  • Can I tell that the world will suggest that you take an eye for an eye!

But I need to remind you that The Lord said…Vengeance is mine said the Lord and I will repay

I. Absalom’s Devilish Initiative

28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, “Watch now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon!’ then kill him. Do not be afraid. Have I not commanded you? Be courageous and valiant.”

29 So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and each one got on his mule and fled.

Note:

 When we come to this portion of the text we see what I call is a devilish initiative.

Absalom accesses his opportunity to do wrong to his brother, and he is influenced by the sin that’s in his heart and he takes the opportunity to carry out what he has been dreaming of doing to him for two years.

This initiative is devilish for two reasons;

  1. It’s a diabolical set up
  2. It’s a demonic trap

Observation:

The text says; “Watch now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon!’ then kill him.”

Its diabolical because he uses alcohol to breakdown his alertness, so that when he attacks him he will not be able to defend himself.

Its demonic because he creates the atmosphere, orders the distraction, to accomplish the destruction.

These two things are dangerous because he uses his position, prominence, power and money to employ and empower others to sin against his brother, father, family and God!

And Ammon never had a chance to defend himself or stop this attack. 

The text says that he commanded his servants to do this!

He gave the order as an evil shot caller!

He called for the “hit “on Ammon’s life….

The hit was done up-close! The hit was unexpected! The hit was intimate! The hit was done in a mob mentality!

The hit was during the party, when the wine was flowing, and when nobody expected it!

It was an unseen attack at a time when Ammon’s guard was down!

Observation:

When I look at this text, I see a similarity in how the evil one works in the earth.

He always attacks those who are not sober minded!

He always attacks those who are not paying attention!

He always assaults those who are ignorant and unaware of his presence in the room.

Look:

 Ammon is at the party after raping Tamar, and having no penalty to pay for his wickedness

When he least thought something would happen to him, that’s when it happened.

Ammon wasn't thinking about dying on that day, but the evil one had a set up in mind, and he would use his brother to carry out his demonic agenda…

Observation:

Everyone should know that Satan is called a murder in the bible, and murder has been on his agenda since he fell from heaven….

I can’t help but notice the correlation with being drunk and being ignorant!

I can’t help but notice, that there is no safe place for the one who is intoxicated…

Ammon is drunk among his brothers when he gets killed…He’s at the family party.

  • He is killed at the family get together!
  • He is killed at the family celebration.
  • He is killed at the family function, when he gets mobbed by the servants and stabbed to death.

His killer is his brother, his enemy is in his family, his hater is up close and is the one who invited him to come and dine with him.

Observation:

  • The devilish initiative is the most dangerous of all!
  • It’s the most dangerous because it is the one that is born in the heart and executed in the mind!
  • It justifies its satanic actions, and then it employs others to carry out the plan on behalf of the wicked one.

This murderous plot would devastate the country. This plot would drive a dagger in two places.

It would kill the big brother, and drive a pain in the heart of his father David, for what he failed to do on his little sister’s behalf.

It would also drive fear into the heart of his other siblings, as they would now see themselves as enemies of the brother Absalom.

And finally, the text says that “Then all the king’s sons arose, and each one got on his mule and fled.”

Note:

 After this Devilish initiative, the family will never be the same.

The brothers are forced to flee from their own flesh and blood!

Question:

  • What do you do when your own brother kills your other brother?
  • How do you relate to your own flesh and blood when they have violated you in manner like this?
  • What do you say to them, and how do you say it?

Absalom’s Revenge has caused another irreparable breach in the family!

Absalom’s actions have created a crisis of unspeakable circumstances

Absalom’s devilish decision has set forth future consequences that cannot be undone!

Application:

The believer must never take on the Absalom spirit when they have been wronged by somebody

The believer must learn from Absalom that two wrongs don't it make it right.

The believer must remember that taking matters into your own hands will never give you the justice that you are looking for

The believer must learn that if you take a life you can’t give it back.

III. Absaloms Devilish Insolence

30 And it came to pass, while they were on the way, that news came to David, saying, “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left!”

31 So the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn.

Note:

 When we come to this final portion of the narrative, we see what I call is Absalom’s devilish insolence.

The word insolence means rude and disrespectful behavior.

Absalom because of devilish influence has disrespected God, the throne, the home, the family and the kingdom of Israel.

In his rebellion against God, he has sinned and caused a breech in all his relationships.

When the king gets the news, he rips his clothing which is a sign of great grief and sorrow.

When the servants of the king hear of the tragedy they too are struck with sorrow, and they follow the actions of their leader and publicly display their grief for what's happened in Israel.

The news they received was that all the Kings sons were murdered. This was a painful situation.

Observation:

If you have ever gotten the news that your child has been killed, then you can understand what David is going through.

If not, then I don't wish this on anybody.

I watched my mother go through this and experience a sword pierce through her soul!

It’s painful, horrendous, and evil to come upon your family. It’s the greatest form of disrespect that can ever happen to you.

When somebody takes your child from you and snatches their life from this earth.

Absalom was insolent toward his heavily father, and his earthly father.

This sin was also offensive to God, to David and to the family.

Conclusion:

32 Then Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered and said, “Let not my lord suppose they have killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar.

33 Now therefore, let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead. For only Amnon is dead.”

Note:

 As we close this narrative we see a strange character emerge on the scene. He is a relative of David, his nephew. We first saw him last week in a very crafty, deceptive manner.

His name is Jonadab, and he is the one who convinced Ammon to deceive his father and his sister Tamar, so that he might “lie with her.”

The bible said about him that he was very crafty….

I find it interesting that the crafty one, appears on the scene after another evil work has impacted this dysfunctional family.

Here we see that Jonadab, offers words to a grieving king…after he was the one who initiated the sinful thoughts to abuse Tamar.

  1. He comes around as the initiator, after the consequences of sin have been taken center stage.
  1. He is an accuser of Absalom!
  1. He is an instigator and a tempter to try get the king to get revenge on Absalom.

He accuses Absalom of having these thoughts since the day Tamar was raped by Ammon.

Note:

He is a deceiver and evil man. He doesn't tell the king that he talked Ammon into sinning against his sister and his family.

If he had this information about Absalom, why didn't he bring it earlier, and give it to David. He could’ve perhaps saved Ammon from going to Absalom’s house!

He doesn't say that he was the initiator of all these things…

He doesn't say that this never would’ve happen if he had taught Ammon how to deal with his lust for that which was forbidden.

He doesn't tell the King everything, only what he wants him to know that he might secretly place in his heart the idea of vengeance against his own son, Absalom.

Application:

The believer must be careful of deceptive relationships

The believer must be careful of those who claim to be concerned but only give you information after the fact

The believer must be concerned and careful of those who are not in your corner nor do they have you or your families interest in mind.

Watch out for the Jonadab’s of this world. Watch out for those who in their craftiness attempt to convince your children to rebel against God.

Watch out for the Jonadab’s, who take advantage of your grief, and family dysfunction.

I have to leave you now, and I have to leave you with another stark warning.

Not only should you watch out for the Jonadab’s you should watch out for the Absalom’s of this world.

When I look at the text, Absalom too can be contrasted with Satan the deceiver…

  1. They both were princes under a King
  2. They both had fallen in their behavior
  3. They both tried desired to kill their brethren
  4. They both opposed the will of the Father
  5. The both rejected the word of the Lord
  6. They both had murder in the heart
  7. They both sought to take what they could not give (Life)
  8. They are both on a road to destruction
  9. They both oppose the kingdom of righteousness
  10. They will both one day be destroyed for the works done in the body, because if you live by the sword you will die by the sword.

Watch out for the Absalom’s of this world.

Every generation has had them before us…

Every generation has felt their betrayal

Every generation has been hurt by them

Every generation has their known their youthful zeal

Every generation has had to endure the sting of their anger, the power of their wrath, and the effects of their sin…

But one generation was victorious against Absalom!

One generation conquered his deception

One generation, defeated him at his game of lies

One generation exposed who he was, what he came to do and what his name truly means.

Jesus out on Calvary defeated Satan! Defeated his agenda! Defeated his army! Cancelled his plans of condemnation for all men! Died in our place! Took our penalty, reconciled us back to God!

Took the sting out of death!

He inaugurated victory over the grave, and early Sunday Morning he rose back to life with all power of heaven and earth in his hands!

[1]  The New King James Version. (1982). (2 Sa 13:23–33). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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