Lesson 8

Trouble on the Home Front

Chronology Summary

Severe Family Trouble (II Samuel 13-14)

Nathan had told David that "the sword would never depart from his family". David did not have to wait long for the turmoil to began. Amnon, a son of David, raped Tamar, his half-sister. (II Samuel 13:1-14)

Following the tragic deception and rape, Amnon decided that he now despised Tamar and sent her away in shame. News of the incident made it to David and infuriated him. Tamar's brother Absalom avenged Tamar by killing Amnon at a sheep sheerer convention. David heard that the conflict between Absalom and Amnon resulted in massive casualties. Jonadab, the crafty individual who taught Amnon how to isolate and rape Tamar, told David that only the rapist was dead. This provided some relief for the grieving king. However, Absalom was forced to flee from Israel. (II Samuel 13:15-39)

Joab knew that David's heart was heavy over the absence of Absalom. He employed the services of a wise woman to obtain a royal judgment from David to absolve Absalom of guilt in the death of Amnon. Joab devised an imaginary incident, remarkably similar to the case of Absalom and Amnon, which required the king's judgment. David heard the woman's story. David realized that Joab was behind this whole imaginary scenario. David talked to Joab about this story and instructed him to retrieve Absalom. (II Samuel 14:1-24)

Joab obeyed David and returned Absalom to Jerusalem. Absalom returned to Jerusalem but refused to meet with David for two more years. (II Samuel 14:25-33)

Absalom, O Absalom! (II Samuel 15-18)

Absalom desired the throne and began a political conspiracy to overthrow David. Absalom undermined the effectiveness of David and won the affections of Israel. (II Samuel 15:1-37)

David was forced to flee from Jerusalem. During his flight, David received a cursing from Shimei, a relative of Saul. Absalom committed fornication with David's concubines to further defy David. (II Samuel 16:1-23)

Absalom was taken with his newfound power and deeply desired to end the influence of his father. He was advised to assemble an army of 12,000 men to pursue his father. Absalom was told that only his father would be killed. None of the men with him would be harmed. Absalom desired a second opinion. He summoned a man who unbeknownst to Absalom was aligned with David. Hushai warned that the advice from Ahithophel was bad. This would allow time to warn David and allow him to escape. The plan worked. (II Samuel 17:1-23)

When Absalom's forces arrived, the battle claimed 20,000 of them. Absalom's rebellion was put down. Absalom was eventually killed by Joab. David deeply mourned the death of his son. (II Samuel 18:1-33)

Psalms 3-4 - Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!

  1. What were the consequences David would face as a result of his sin? Discuss the difference between guilt and consequences.
  2. When faced with dire circumstances in his family, where did David place his faith?
  3. Who was David talking about in Psalm 4:4?

Psalm 27 - The Lord is my light and my salvation; Who shall I fear?

  1. Why does David not have to fear?
  2. Define joy. How is joy possible when so much trouble surrounded David?
  3. How does courage factor in when dealing with trials and tribulations in life?

Psalm 55 - Give ear to my prayer, O God

  1. When faced with treachery and destruction, David turned to God. Discuss what he prayed for in this Psalm.
  2. Should we pray this way about our enemies? Why or why not?

Psalm 143 - I remember the days of old

  1. Why is it important to remember the good times when dealing with the bad?
  2. Do you ever find yourself in "the pit"? What should you do when that happens?

Psalm 61 - Hear my cry, O God; Attend to my prayer

  1. Discuss David's response when he heard that Absalom was dead. How is this characteristic of one who is "a man after God's own heart"?
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