After his return, Absalom plays the politician running for office, working hard to get public opinion on his side. He causes a stir wherever he goes, riding in a chariot with fifty soldiers accompanying him. He listens closely to people’s complaints, sympathizing with them and promising justice. If only he were king! He kisses everyone, not just babies.
After four years of this strategy, Absalom thinks he is strong enough to capture the throne. Asking permission of David to go to Hebron, Absalom sends messengers throughout Israel to proclaim him as king. David and his entire court have to flee Jerusalem in fear for their lives.
While Absalom is disloyal to his own father, a foreigner named Ittai living in Israel shows great loyalty to David. Although David advises him not to follow him, Ittai pledges his life to David in the name of the Lord. The people of Jerusalem mourn David’s exile, the priests even carrying the ark of the covenant with David’s court until they are out of the city. There David tells the priests to take the ark back to Jerusalem; if the Lord wills, he also will someday return.
David loses Ahitophel, a close advisor, who joins with Absalom. David prays the Lord will turn Ahitophel’s advice to foolishness. To further that desire, David sends another advisor and friend, Hushai, to Absalom as a spy.
Faithful God, teach us how to be loyal to you and to others.
DR. GARY HOLLOWAY
Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway.