Absalom sent for Joab, “Look, I sent to you, saying, ‘Come here, so that I may send you to the king and say to him, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would have been better for me to be there still. Therefore, let me see the king’s face— if there is iniquity in me, then let him execute me.” So Joab went to the king and told him what Absolam had said. When David called for Absalom, he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before his father. Then the king kissed Absalom. – 2 Samuel 14:32,
The story progresses. Joab uses a widow to speak to David’s conscious about Absolam …what the widow had said to David gave the king the answer as to what to do about his own son. (2 Samuel 14:1-17).
Woman’s fourth response: “I thank you very much, O king, but doesn’t your ruling on my behalf pose a problem for you? How can you rule to protect the life of my son and yet not do the same with your son, Absalom? We know that we are all going to die someday, but God does not delight in death. He seeks ways to keep men alive and to bring back those alienated from Him. Why are you not doing the same thing, seeking to find ways to spare the life of Absalom, and to bring him back to Israel?”
David’s response: “Whoa! All of a sudden, it is beginning to look as though this entire conversation has more to do with me and my son than with you and yours. This feels very much to me like the kind of thing Joab would do. Tell me the truth, is Joab the one behind all this?”
David loved Absolam. His son was a master schemer and without a heart of repentance for his actions. There was no fear of God in him. David showed favor for Absalom, for no other reason than to display Divine grace. It is true that God has thoughts of compassion toward sinners, not willing that any should perish—David also had compassion as a loving father would for his son and kissed him–for the prodigal son that he was. But did the compassion of David to reconcile him do anything for Absolam’s conscious? In 2 Samuel Chapter 15:1-12 we see the beginning of Absolam’s rebellion against King David.
With a kiss from the king, Absolam is free to go about wherever he chooses. He acquires a chariot and horses and 50 men who serve him. Absalom would have made a great politician. Every day Absalom would station himself on the road to Jerusalem. Absalom would call out to those passing by, asking from where they came and why they had come to Jerusalem. He greeted all in a way they would remember.
When Absalom learned that the traveler was coming to Jerusalem to seek justice from the king, he tells the traveler that he is terribly sorry to inform him that the king has made no provisions for judging cases. With great skill, Absalom makes it known that if he were judging in Israel, he would see to it that such people were heard, and that he would rule in their favor.
Not only is Absalom a liar saying there was no one to hear their case, he is a hypocrite. He just gets people to think he is their friend. And it worked! Absalom wins the hearts of the people. After four years of running David down and building himself up in the eyes of the people, Absalom was ready to make his move. His plan was to make his debut as the new king where David born, in Hebron
He went to his father and told him that he had made a vow while he was living in Geshur. He vowed that if God ever granted him the privilege of returning to Israel he would pay his vow to the Lord in Hebron. David granted him permission to leave.
Absalom had sent word throughout the tribes of Israel that when the trumpet was blown, this was a signal for them to proclaim their allegiance to him, rather than to David. He recruited 200 men in this way to leave with him. In addition, Absalom had managed to recruit Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor. Ahithophel was a most gifted man; his counsel was exceedingly wise: The advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one inquired of the word of God; so was all the advice of Ahithophel regarded by both David and Absalom (2 Samuel 16:23). Nevertheless, God would make use of Ahithophel. He would use his counsel to bring about the fulfillment of prophecy, and He would thwart his counsel in order to save David from the hand of Absalom (2 Samuel 17:1-14).
The sorrows of David began with David’s own sin concerning Uriah and his wife, Bathsheba. It continued with the death of the first son born to David with Bathsheba. David’s own daughter (Tamar) was raped by one of his sons, and then this son (Amnon) was murdered by yet another son (Absalom). Absalom flees to Gerar, and David yearns to see him, but knows he cannot. Then, by the deception of Joab, David is compelled to bring Absalom back to Israel. When Absalom gains his freedom, he uses it to undermine David’s reputation. Next will come Absolams’s rebellion, and the division of Israel, and finally the death of Absalom at the hand of Joab. It is, indeed, a trail of tears.