Two years later, David's two sons, Amnon and Absalom, got in a terrible fight. Finally Absalom ended up killing Amnon. When David found out about it, he was heartbroken. Absalom left Israel
and went to stay with his grandfather Talmai, in the territory of Geshur. He stayed there for three years. Finally David stopped mourning for his son Amnon and longed to be reunited with Absalom.
David called in his right hand man, Joab, and asked him to go to Geshur to bring back Absalom. But David was still unsure about seeing Absalom. So even though Absalom was staying at a house in Jerusalem for two years, David never sent for him. Absalom was getting tired of waiting and he confronted Joab. "Why did the king summon me to Jerusalem if he never intended to even see me? I was better off staying in Gershun!"
"I will tell the king how upset you are." Joab replied. "Perhaps he will finally request your presence."
Then at last David summoned his estranged son and Absalom bowed down before the king and David kissed him. But Absalom held contempt in his heart for his father.
The people were very grateful and started to bow down before him, but Absalom stopped them and instead, he gave them a big hug. So in this way, Absalom began to steal the hearts of the people in David's kingdom. He did this for four years until he felt like he had the loyalty of enough people to take over Israel!
One day Absalom came before the king and asked for permission to go back to Geshur to make a sacrifice there. David granted the request and while Absalom was there, he sent word to all of Israel that he was starting a rebellion against the king. The rebellion soon gained momentum and Absalom had many, many people on his side.
Of course the news about the rebellion reached David quickly, but it was too late. Absalom was being crowned king of Hebron and he was getting ready to take over Jerusalem. David urged his men, "Hurry! If we leave the city quickly, Jerusalem will be spared a horrible disaster."
There was great sadness as David and his men crossed the city and headed toward the Valley of Kidron and then into the wilderness.
Imagine how David must have felt. He forgave his son for the horrible thing that he did, and now his son has betrayed him! Have you ever forgiven someone only to have them hurt you again? Let's see how David handles the situation and how it all turns out. Don't forget, after David's terrible sin, God told him that his family would suffer many things.... even death. I'm sure David was hurt, but maybe not surprised.
As they reached their destination in the wilderness David turned to his advisor, Hushai. I want you to go back to Jerusalem. Tell Absalom that you will be his advisor. If he asks about your loyalty to me. Tell him that you are not loyal to a person, but to whomever is king. Then when he asks for your expertise, give him faulty advise. In time, his kingship will falter and the people will see that he is not king material.
So Hushai arrived in Jerusalem just as Absalom was arriving. He offered his services to Absalom and told him what David had suggested. Absalom already had an advisor. His name was Ahithophel. But he agreed to keep two advisors and choose which ever advice he deemed best.
After Absalom had settled into the throne. He called in his two advisors. Of course they each had different advice. God put it into Absalom's heart to choose Hushai's advice because it would bring disaster upon him.
Hushai sent word to David about Absalom's plan. He advised David and his men to pull up camp, cross the Jordan river and head into the wilderness. So David and his men took Hushai's advice. Absalom and his men showed up at the Jordan river shortly afterward. But David and his men were not there.
Next time we will see what God has in store for Absalom and David.