What God had said would happen to David’s household has begun. “Because of what you have done, I will cause your own household to rebel against you.”
Don’t let the end of the last chapter we read fool you. Just because Absalom has been pardoned by David, with David sealing the pardon with a kiss, does not mean all is well in the household or in the kingdom.
But let’s step back for just a minute.
After the mess with Bathsheba, what with the illicit sex with a married woman, the murder of Uriah and the death of their child, I think that David carried a great deal of guilt around with him. And this, I believe, robbed him of the moral authority he needed as a father and as a king.
This led to his being a lenient father, and we see the results of that with both Amnon and Absalom.
It’s more than likely that Amnon didn’t begin his wicked thoughts with lusting after his sister. One doesn’t normally jump from being a person of integrity to the depths Amnon is at. Generally, it’s a process…not unlike David’s descent from a glance from his palace’s roof to murder. That was a progression, as I believe Amnon’s course was, too.
I believe David overlooked the signs of trouble for a long time. That Amnon thought that he could get away with the rape of his sister says to me that he had probably gotten away with a lot as he was growing up.
And then there’s Absalom. He was indeed right to be angry at what Amnon had done. But instead of taking the cause to David for justice to be done, he decided to wait for his chance to get revenge. Perhaps Absalom had seen Amnon get away with so much in the past that he thought David would not take the appropriate action.
But there’s more than that. Amnon was first in line for the throne. By killing him, Absalom would become first in line. So he waits for his chance, and two years after the rape, he makes his move.
After the murder, Absalom goes into hiding for three years. David has come to grips with the loss of Amnon, and he longs to see Absalom.
Now wait a minute. David knows that Absalom had Amnon murdered, but he wants to be reconciled to him?
In the interest of time, I’m not going to say much about Joab’s involvement here, except that as the general of David’s army, he is also a politician, looking out for his own welfare as he sees where the kingdom is going. He wants to have a place of influence as things unfold.
Cutting to the chase, Absalom finagles himself back into the good graces of David because he knows that in order to eventually take the throne, his best chance is to do so from inside his father’s house.
The story is far from over.