-It Can Be Devastating!
Betrayal can be one of the most devastating experiences anyone can go through! But, just try and imagine if that betrayal came at the hands of your own flesh & blood. That was Israel’s King David’s experience when his own son, Absalom, turned against him (2 Samuel 15). Absalom had the appearance of a movie star! Scripture describes him as having a handsome appearance from the soul of his foot to the crown of his head. And, the conditions, in Israel, were ripe for a rebellion. David was living in seclusion; perhaps, over the public guilt of his sin with Bathsheba & the subsequent murder of her husband. Domestically, David’s home was a mess.
-Setting The Stage!
When another of his son’s, Amnon, raped his own half-sister, Tamar, it was Absalom who came to her defense & murdered Amnon (his own half-brother). So, David banished Absalom and refused to see him; until, circumstances forced David to bring Absalom home. But, there was no fellowship between them! It was a very broken father-son relationship between them1 So, the rift grew & Absalom became committed to a plan to betray his own father & usurp the kingdom away from him. Every day he got up early & sat at the gate of the city to undermine the authority of his own father, the king, who was consistently a no-show when it came to judging the people— “How sad the king won’t see you! If only I were king I’d rule with justice over your case.”
-He Stole The Hearts Of Israel!
And, the text, of Scripture, says he, “…stole the hearts of Israel.” He masterminded a coup to overthrow his father, the king! And, how did David respond? He experienced a personal revival of his faith! As he’s forced to abandon his throne & run for his life, something inwardly beautiful begins to happen in David’s heart. I wish I had more time & space to develop this; but, let me just show you one example. When David realized that Zadok, the priest, had brought the Ark of the Covenant with them, in their mad scramble from the city, look at David’s response: “Then the king instructed Zadok, ‘Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the Lord’s eyes, He will bring me back and allow me to see both it and its dwelling place’” 2 Samuel 15:25. He wouldn’t make the same mistake the previous King, Saul, had made when he turned the Ark into some kind of “good luck charm”, brought it into battle; and, lost it to the Philistines! Saul used the Ark as an idol!
–Confident In God’s Sovereignty!
No, David’s confidence was in God’s Sovereignty & providence! The next verse David says: “if He (God) should say, ‘I do not delight in you,’ then here I am—He can do with me whatever pleases Him.” With God’s help, David is getting his spiritual act together again! This is a spiritual revival! He’s revisiting God’s grace! Absalom didn’t know about “grace.” He assumed that because David let God down, that God would let David down as well! That’s how every religion, based on works, thinks! But, that’s NOT how God works! He may discipline us— and, He was disciplining David— but, He never forsakes His own! So, when someone betrays you, how do you respond? Do you get angry with God & blame Him for your circumstances? Or, do you trust God’s intentions & His Sovereign control? Do you trust His promise that He will never leave you? When people disappoint you; and, they will, use it as an occasion to return to the Lord!