Wednesday, October 10, 2012

David-Forgives Absalom

by Mary Vee
II Samuel  14


From Joab's Notes


photo courtesy of visualbibleimages.com
At one time I thought saving Absalom from banishment was a good idea. May be not so much anymore.

He sent a messenger to me recently who said, "Absalom wants  you to get permission for him to go before the king."

I didn't want to interfere between him and the king anymore. 

I will be the first to admit Absalom has received great praises from all the people for his good looks. His hair grew thicker than anyone. It weighed so heavy on his head he had it cut it once a year, much more than any other man. When the cut portion fell on the scales, it weighed two hundred shekels according to the king's measurement.

I thought Absalom had settled back into his home and lived a happy life. God gave him three sons and one daughter. He names his little girl Tamar after his sister. I guess I was wrong.

I sent the messenger back to Absalom with no answer.

A few days later the messenger returned again, carrying Absalom's wish to go before the king. "Tell Absalom, No. I will not come to see him. He has asked far too much of me."

I should have known better. Absalom is quite used to getting his own way. I looked out my window a few days later and found my barley field ablaze. Only one person would do something that wicked. 

I set out for his home right away.

He had a smug look on his face, like most spoiled children. It did not look as well on a man. "Why did you burn my barley field?"

He shrugged. "You wouldn't come when I asked for you."

If he weren't the prince I would have left right then. "Tell me, what do you want."

He paced around the room moving his arms as he spoke. "I ran away to Gesur because I thought father would have me arrested for killing Amnon. He gave permission for me to come back yet it has been two years since my return. I've waited long enough. I want to see my father, now."

I bowed to him, even though he didn't deserve it. "I will go to him for you."
"Thank you, Joab. I knew I could get you to agree."

I held my tongue. There were many words I could have said, though. I traveled to the king's palace. Best to get the ordeal over with right away. I asked to go before King David. He granted permission and allowed me into his chamber right away.

"My lord, your son, Absalom requests to see you. He says he spent three years in banishment and now two years here in Jerusalem. He would like to speak with you."

David closed his eyes and sat quiet for a time. I stayed at attention waiting for him to make a decision. "All right, Joab. Bring Absalom."

I was a bit surprised but pleased, not knowing what Absalom would do if David said no.  Absalom prepared himself, put on his best clothes and journeyed with me to the palace. 

When David signaled permission for Absalom to walk forward, he did then bowed low to the floor. "Oh, Father, how I've longed to see you."

David reached his hands forward, pulled his son close to him and kissed him.

I don't think Absalom deserved his father's kindness, but I am grateful for peace.

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1.  What message did the messenger bring from Absalom?
2. What message did the messenger bring the second time?
3. When Joab did not respond, what did Absalom do?
4. Joab agreed to _________
5. When Absalom went before the king, what did he do?
6. What was David's response?

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