I’ve been in the process of moving (and everything that goes with relocating) so, Its been several weeks since I last posted.  Before my move, I considered doing a series of posts on King David and his son Absolom.  Now that I’m somewhat settled in, my thoughts continue to return to their story.  King David, late in life and not for the first time, was forced to flee his home and his kingdom in order to escape from his own flesh and blood who had waged a rebellion and usurped his place as king.  It was arguably the lowest point in David’s life. 

Much is written about King David, “A man after God’s own heart”, a “Warrior Poet”.  King David, however, also had many weaknesses, and committed sins that would disqualify him from leadership in most any Christian (and secular) organization today.  Yes, David was intimate with God, and was a wonderful leader of men but, he was also one susceptible to the temptations of power, lustful toward women, negligent toward his family, tempted by vengeance, and often emotional to the point of over-sentimentality.  As  Gene Edwards wrote in, Tale of Three Kings, early in his campaign as a leader, David lead hundreds of  “no-goods” and they were stuck “with a leader who cried a lot”.  It was these weaknesses, namely his adultery with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, and his negligence as a father, that was directly responsible for this present crisis in his life.  Thus enters Absolom.

Absolom, harboring (and hiding) a long held grudge, deep wounds, resentment, and bitterness, used his intimate awareness of David’s most personal weaknesses and failings as a leader and father, to seize an opportunity to usurp David’s authority and make himself king.  Through vanity, deceit, and false pretenses of reconciliation and justice, he not only stole the hearts of the people but, also the allegiance of David’s friends and counselors. 

Nevertheless, despite his failings, and true to his character, David (a man after God’s own heart), rather than fight for what was rightfully his, he left in order to spare the city from civil war, because at this point staying to fight would have divided the people and torn the kingdom apart:

“Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!” David urged his men. “Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster.” – 2 Samuel 15:14 

He decided to flee like a fugitive, leaving his loved ones, his home and his kingdom, to go into exile, trusting that God would do what was ultimately best; that if it pleased Him to do so, God would restore him in His way and in His time.

You can read the story of David and Absolom for yourself  (2 Samuel chapters 13-19).  It’s a compelling page-turner full of intrigue and invaluable lessons for the reader.