Life of David: 26. Absalom’s Conspiracy Against David

Friday, November 2, 2018
This is week 26 in the Life of David series. The lesson is found in 2 Samuel 15-17. Absalom has been working to gather the people and take over David's kingdom. The application worksheet discusses what David had to be thinking and feeling. Not only is his son against him; he thinks Jonathan's son Mephibosheth is too.

Last week we learned that Absalom had left Jerusalem when he had his brother Amnon killed. Absalom lived in Geshur for three years and he still hadn't seen his father, David. David missed him every day.
Joab asked David if Absalom could return home and David said yes. Absalom lived in his house in Jerusalem. Then, he began to scheme and stood at the city gate and pretended to care about the people. He listened to their problems and told them “If I were the judge, I could help you with that. But unfortunately, there isn’t anyone available today.”
Some time passed and Absalom asked King David if he could go to Hebron. David told him to go, and Absalom sent spies out into the land. They told the people that “When you hear the trumpet, say ‘Absalom reigns in Hebron!’” Absalom took 200 men with him, but they were not told what was happening.
Absalom started a conspiracy (scheme, plan, treason) and it grew strong. His followers increased in numbers. A messenger went to David and told him that men of Israel were following Absalom. David told his servants that were with him in Jerusalem to hurry and leave so they could escape Absalom. The servants told David that they would do whatever David wanted.
When they came to the outskirts of the city, the servants walked past David, including 600 men that came with him from Gath. The people cried as they crossed the Brook Kidron and walked toward the wilderness. David cried as he walked barefoot with his head covered up the Mount of Olives. David sent his friend Hushai back to Jerusalem to be a servant of Absalom. He would keep David informed of Absalom’s plans.

Mephibosheth was Jonathan's son that David had helped. He had a servant named Ziba. The servant met David at the top of the hill and offered him a couple of saddled donkeys which had 200 loaves of bread, 100 clusters of raisins, 100 summer fruits and a skin of wine. David asked Ziba who the supplies were for. He said everything was for David’s people. When David asked Ziba where Mephibosheth was, Ziba told him he was back in Jerusalem. He said Mephibosheth thought that his father’s kingdom would be given to him. David told Ziba to keep everything. (What really happened? 2 Samuel 19:24-30)
As they traveled, they came to Shimei’s house. He was part of Saul’s family. Shimei shouted and cursed at David. He threw stones at the people. He called David names. He was angry because David became king after Saul died. David said to ignore him; after all, his own son was trying to kill him.
While David was leaving Jerusalem, Absalom and the men from Israel were entering Jerusalem. Ahithophel was giving advice to Absalom, and he told him that they should follow David and attack him while he is weak and tired. David’s friend Hushai told Absalom that wasn’t a good plan. He reminded Absalom that David and his soldiers were mighty men. They are angry and ready for war. Besides, probably by now, David and his men were camped in a pit ready to fight. Hushai told him to gather his men and prepare to fight.
David was warned to cross the Jordan quickly to be safe and everyone had crossed by the time the sun came up. Absalom and the men of Israel camped in Gilead. When David and his people reached Mahanaim, some of the people brought food to David and his people to eat.  The people knew that David and his men were tired, hungry and thirsty from traveling in the wilderness.
The printables for David in this series are for an older age group than I usually post. Most of these lessons about David are not appropriate for early elementary. But David is a great study. So, as you can see from the above picture, there is a Q&A. This could be used with younger groups by using the answer sheet and just asking the questions for discussion. Each post in this series will have a maze and some type of puzzle. The additional application has thought questions about David and what he had to be thinking at this time as a king, father and a soldier. This also includes the answer sheet for the application worksheet. This pack includes a map with the places for David and Absalom. Click here to download.

Bible Verse:  2 Samuel 17:10
Click here to see the entire list and links for the Life of David series.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission.

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