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Bring Back Young Absalom?
Bible Passage 2 Samuel 14:21-33
This content is part of a series Bright Morning Reflections, in topic 2023 & book 2 Samuel.

Bring Back Young Absalom?

  • Rev. Bright Mawuena Nfodzo
Date preached February 2, 2023

21 Then the king addressed Joab, “Look! I’ll do this thing that you’ve requested. Go bring back the young man Absalom.”

22 At this, Joab fell on his face to the ground, prostrating himself to bless the king, and then said, “Today your servant realizes that he’s found favor with you, your majesty, in that the king has acted on the request of his servant.”

23 Then Joab got up, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom back to Jerusalem.

24 Nevertheless, the king said, “Let him return to his own home and not show his face to me.” So Absalom returned to his own home and did not show his face to the king.

25 Now throughout all of Israel no one was as handsome as Absalom or so highly praised, from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there wasn’t a single thing wrong about him.

26 Whenever he cut his hair —he cut it at the end of every year, because it grew thick on his head, which is why he cut it—his hair weighed in at 200 shekels measured by the royal standard.

27 Absalom fathered three sons and one daughter, whom he named Tamar. She was a beautiful woman, both in form and appearance.

28 Meanwhile, Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but never saw the king’s face.

29 After this, Absalom sent for Joab, intending to send him to the king, but Joab would not come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but he still would not come.

30 So Absalom told his servants, “Observe that Joab’s grain field lies next to mine. He has barley planted there. Go set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire.

31 At this, Joab got up, went to Absalom’s home, and demanded of him, “Why did your servants set fire to my grain field?”

32 In answer to Joab, Absalom replied, “Look, I sent for you, telling you ‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask him “What’s the point in moving here from Geshur? I would have been better off to have remained there!”’ So let me see the king’s face, and if I’m guilty of anything, let him execute me!”

33 So when Joab approached the king and told him what Absalom had said, he summoned Absalom, who then came to the king and fell to the ground on his face in front of him. Then the king kissed Absalom.

Amnon, the eldest son of David raped her half-sister Tamar when he seduced her but she refused to give in.

When Absalom heard this, he waited for an opportunity to revenge on Amnon. After two years, Absalom got the opportunity and murdered Amnon and fled to Geshur, to the mother’s family.

Absalom was now the oldest prince. He deserved to become the king when David died. But this would have caused political trouble if Absalom continued to live in a foreign country. Joab was the leader of the army. So, he knew that this situation was dangerous. If David did nothing, the nation could suffer. David should either punish Absalom or forgive him. Joab wanted David to think about the situation in a new way.

Today’s scripture is about the return of Absalom to Jerusalem and what happened thereafter. It was right to punish a murderer. But Joab wanted David to consider the effect on the whole family. So, Joab went to Geshur himself to get Absalom.

David could not punish Absalom because of his promise in verse 11. Joab and a woman from Tekoa had cooked a story that made David agree that Absalom should return to Jerusalem. On Absalom’s return, David did not punish him for his sin. But David still refused to see Absalom. This meant that David had not forgiven him. David did not want Absalom in Jerusalem. David let Absalom return only because of Joab.

Absalom was young, handsome, and popular. People like handsome. He was proud of his long hair. (This hair caused his death in 2 Sam 18:1-17.) The royal standard was very accurate. It shows that Absalom’s hair was thick and healthy. Absalom had three sons. (But 2 Sam. 18:18 shows that they all died when they were young.) His daughter had the same name as his sister, Tamar.

Absalom was the oldest prince but David would not let him live in the royal palace. He could not do the work of a prince. David would not prepare Absalom to become the next king. David let him return to Jerusalem but he would not see Absalom. Absalom lived in this difficult situation for two years. He became very angry in Jerusalem and disliked his father’s behaviour. But he could not go to his father.

Joab had brought Absalom back. But Joab would not speak to Absalom. So, Absalom was also angry with Joab. When Absalom’s servants burned Joab’s field, Joab had to talk to Absalom.

In verse 32, Absalom thought that he had not sinned. David had not punished Amnon. So Absalom punished Amnon because he sinned against Tamar. Absalom was confident that he had done the right thing. He believed that he was not a murderer. Therefore, Absalom thought that he had no sin. Joab had to deal with the situation between David and Absalom.

At last, Absalom saw the king. He gave honour to the king in the usual way. But David had delayed the meeting for too long. Verse 33 describes an official meeting, not a family meeting. Genesis 45:1-15 describes how Joseph and his brothers were united. They cried and talked together. They hugged and kissed each other. Joseph forgave his brothers. King David kissed Absalom. But it does not say that Absalom kissed David. They did not forgive. There was no real unity. And soon Absalom would start to plot against David.

🔷 We should seek good counsel and promote peace in our relationship with other people

🔷 It’s not always right to pay back in the exact way they offended you. We must often leave this for God to handle

💥 Ask that you will be an agent of peace
💥 Pray for God’s wisdom in every decision-making process

We must think about the future for every decision we make. Such decisions may affect many generations of our family. We must seek and promote peace in all we do, and we must teach to be agents of peace.

In series Bright Morning Reflections