2 Samuel 18:1-33 records how the civil war led by Absalom against his father came to an inglorious end. It was a sad day for David for many reasons, one of which was that this was the culmination of some bad choices and parenting. Yet still, in spite of the tragic nature of the text, David again points us to Jesus who could do and will do what David could not.
After David fled from Absalom, it seemed that his whole kingdom was in danger of falling. Ahithophel, David’s trusted adviser, had gone over to join Absalom, and his counsel would have been dangerous for David. However, God was at work and in 2 Samuel 17:1-29, there are three particular evidences of His providence which meant that David knew that God had not abandoned him and that His plans were being unfolded.
When David left Jerusalem because of Absalom’s push to replace him, 2 Samuel 15 told of 3 men who came to his aid. Following this, 2 Samuel 16:1-33 tells of 3 other men who wanted to achieve just the opposite – either to further their own standing in his eyes, to curse him or to cause his kingdom to crumble. In the end, so much of what David endured points us again to His greater Son, Jesus, who also endured what He did to save His own.
After the events of 2 Samuel 14 where tensions between David and his son Absalom grew in their intensity, 2 Samuel 15:1-37 records how Absalom launched an all-out campaign to usurp David from his throne. As a result of this David fled, and in doing so must have known one of his darkest days, although not without the support of three individuals who came to support him. David’s darkest day points us to Jesus who went one step further, so that all who trust in Him (as David did – see Psalm 3) can find the great comfort and assurance of grace.
When David’s son Absalom killed his brother Amnon in revenge as recorded in 2 Samuel 13, he fled. 2 Samuel 14:1-33 the unfolds the story of the growing tension between King David and his wayward son – something that went on and on but remained unresolved. Davuid was clearly conflicted. He loved his son and could not or would not bring him to justice. It was an untenable situation and one that would backfire badly on David’s rule as king. Another cautionary tale from David’s life and experience!
In 2 Samuel 13:1-39, the text records some dark events that happened in David’s family. While the chapter sets the scene for Absalom’s eventual rebellion against his father, it also portrays the reality of the consequences of David’s sin in chapter 11 being revealed in his own family. It’s a sad tale, but also a much needed cautionary warning.
When David sinned in 2 Samuel 11, he set of a chain of events that would prove to be disastrous for his family, including the son born as a result of his alliance with Bathsheba. The text of 2 Samuel 12:15-31 records how the child died, but also how God’s grace was revealed in the midst of the mess that his sin created.
History tells us that a multitude of people have fallen into temptation and sinned. Some in small ways. Others in big ways. King David was one of the latter. The story of 2 Samuel 11:1-27 makes it abundantly clear that his fall was tragic and terrible. There are lessons to be learned from it. But thanks be to God, there is also grace for the repentant.
After dealing kindly with Mephibosheth, 2 Samuel 10:1-19 tells us how David also dealt kindly with Hanun, son of Nahash the Ammonite King on the occasion of the death of Nahash. However, advisors for Hanun got into his ear and planted seeds of suspicion and fear and David’s ambassadors were treated with contempt. An all out war soon arose with inevitable consequences. Whenever God’s grace and kindness to mankind is rejected, those inevitable consequences still happen. We call it judgement and we must pray that people will repent before that judgement comes.
After God made a covenant with David in chapter 7, in turn, David remembered the covenant he had earlier made with Saul to never wipe out Saul’s descendants. In a lovely part of the unfolding tapestry of God’s grace, 2 Samuel 9:1-13 records how David showed loving kindness (Hebrew: chesed) to one of Jonathon’s sons, Mephiboseth. To many people this may come as a surprise as the Old Testament is often characterised as being all about law or war. But in the story of David’s kindness to this cripple, the heart of the gospel can be seen.