Day 30

Absalom’s Revolt

from the 1 & 2 Samuel reading plan


2 Samuel 15:1-37, 2 Samuel 16:1-23, 2 Samuel 17:1-29, Psalm 96:10, Isaiah 11:1-5

BY Guest Writer

Scripture Reading: 2 Samuel 15:1-37, 2 Samuel 16:1-23, 2 Samuel 17:1-29, Psalm 96:10, Isaiah 11:1-5

We think of God’s favor as an endless river of glittering gifts, but that’s not the whole story.

David shows us that God’s favor isn’t always an easy pill to swallow. Sure, he received a kingdom from the Lord (2 Samuel 7:8). That gift came with plenty of perks, but being a man after God’s own heart also came with challenges.

When Samuel anointed David as king, I’m sure it was a happy occasion, mostly because Samuel never mentioned the possibility of facing down a giant (1 Samuel 17), potential death threats from the existing king (1 Samuel 18-23), and the massive temptations that come with being the most powerful man in the land (2 Samuel 11). Samuel certainly didn’t mention that David would have to fight his own beloved son to keep his kingdom.

We find the story of Absalom’s rebellion in 2 Samuel 13-18. The wheels started to come off the train when David’s son Amnon raped his half-sister, Tamar. Tamar’s brother, Absalom (Amnon’s half-brother), was enraged by his brother’s sin and eventually had Amnon killed (2 Samuel 13).  

This was a low blow for David, but the hits had just started coming. Absalom fled to live with his grandparents. During that long season of waiting, a bitter root started to grow in Absalom’s heart. Though his father eventually welcomed him home with a kiss, Absalom began to plot a coup to take the throne. He launched a PR campaign, tricked 200 men into joining his cause, recruited David’s advisers, amassed an army, and prepared to march on to Jerusalem.

The same David who had been promised a kingdom that would last forever put on a disguise and ran for his life.

Though the battle cost him mightily—20,000 casualties, including his own son—David kept his throne, and God kept His promises. Yes, David was highly favored by God, but that didn’t vaccinate him from hard work and heartbreak.

This story reminds me of another hero who knew the gut-wrenching reality of God’s favor.  

“And the angel came to [Mary] and said, ‘Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.”
– Luke 1:28

Yes, Mary was a “favored woman” with reason to rejoice. But serving God also meant suffering. The angel didn’t mention that Mary would watch her miracle boy die a horrible death on the cross.

When we confuse God’s favor with a free ticket to Easy Street, we can find ourselves easily blindsided. As God’s child, you are highly favored, but that doesn’t mean life will never throw you a curveball. Absalom’s rebellion shows us that suffering is not a sure sign that God’s favor has left us.

Will we praise God, even when His favor comes with both victories and challenges?

SRT-SAMUELS-instagram30

Erin Davis is an author, blogger, and speaker who loves to see women of all ages run to the deep well of God’s Word. When she’s not writing, you can find Erin chasing chickens and children on her small farm in the Midwest.

Post Comments (38)

38 thoughts on "Absalom’s Revolt"

  1. Kristen Clegs says:

    Interesting to see that David immediately began to experience the consequences of his sin that Nathan had foretold: violence and evil arising out of his own house, against himself and others of his house – Amnon against Tamar, Absalom against Amnon, Absalom against his father’s concubines, Absalom against his father … The sin and rebellion of his own children probably drove David back to God just as much as in the days that Saul’s sin and rebellion gave him no rest, no hope, but in his God.

  2. Ashley says:

    “Yes, David was highly favored by God, but that didn’t vaccinate him from hard work and heartbreak…Yes, Mary was a “favored woman” with reason to rejoice. But serving God also meant suffering… When we confuse God’s favor with a free ticket to Easy Street, we can find ourselves easily blindsided. As God’s child, you are highly favored, but that doesn’t mean life will never throw you a curveball.”

    I so needed to hear this today. My husband and I have been pursuing what we feel like is God’s call on our life for the past couple of years, but it has left us in a place of ongoing financial uncertainty. It has been hard to watch others seemingly get their prayers answered so quickly and easily, when it feels like we’ve been crying out to Him, only to have our prayers bounce off the skies. I think for me it’s easy to believe the lies of the “Prosperity Gospel” that infects us so easily in America- that if you are “right with God”, God will bless you with finances and security- but that’s the furthest thing from the truth. God’s goal to to draw us to Himself and makes us like Christ. And He’s already made us “right with Him” through Christ’s death and resurrection. He wants us to worship the Giver, not the gift. Not to say that God won’t ever bless us with good things, we all have plenty to be thankful for, but like Erin said, God’s favor isn’t a ticket to easy street. Thankful for that reminder today.

    1. Jenny says:

      You are very wise and I trust that in this difficulty born from doing God’s will, you will find the exquisite grace and joy born from gratitude. There is a beauty and sweetness in these times that cannot be experienced and known in any other way. And this is strength and solace for the continuing journey, blessings!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *