…Psalm 3: David Escapes from Absalom

If a man does not turn back… If a man does not repent,  the LORD God, he will sharpen His sword. He bends his bow and makes it ready.  – Psalm 7:12
Absalom lacks any sense of debt or gratitude to his father.  There is absolutely no submission to his father as king. Absalom sees himself as “next in line” for the throne. He uses the position of power he has gained for himself to undermine his father’s authority and to disrupt his kingdom. Behind his father’s back he has spoken ill of him to make David as if unfit to be the king of Jerusalem.

The Lord Helps His Troubled People
A Psalm of David When He Fled from Absalom His Son.
1     Lord, how they have increased who trouble me!
      Many are they who rise up against me.
2     Many are they who say of me, “There is no help for him in God.”
3     But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head.
4     I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy hill.
5    I lay down and slept; I awoke, for the Lord sustained me.
6   I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people who have set themselves against me all around.
7     Arise, O Lord!  Save me, O my God!
     For You have struck all my enemies on the cheek, You have broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8    Salvation belongs to the Lord.
     Your blessing is upon Your people.      Selah

It is important to remember that God is not making David pay for past sin. Rather it is the choice Absolam has made to take advantage of his father in a low period of his life.  Nathan made it clear David would not undergo the penalty for his sin, because the” Lord had taken his sin away” (2 Samuel 12:13)  Those who suffer as a direct result of their sin…”All these curses will come on you, pursuing you and overtaking you until you are destroyed, because you didn’t observe what your God has said, not observing His commands that He gave you.” (see Deuteronomy 28:15).  The sin of Absolam will see this terrible overtaking in his own life.
.      As for David, sometimes the righteous suffer for the sake of being righteous (see 1 Peter 4). And also when the saints suffer because they are the “sons of God,” who are being prepared for glory (see Hebrews 12).  David’s suffering was not punishment for his sin, but divine discipline, which was designed to draw him closer to God.  David wanted to be restored to fellowship with Absalom, but he knew better than to ignore or disobey the law in order to facilitate such a reunion. David was tricked into allowing his son to return. David knew he could not be reconciled to Absalom until Absalom had repented.  If we are going to blame anyone for Absalom’s sin (other than Absalom) it would have to be on Joab because he sought to bring about reconciliation without repentance.
2 Samuel 15:13-37
13 Now a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”
14 So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.”
15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “We are your servants, ready to do whatever my lord the king commands.” 16 Then the king went out with all his household after him. But the king left ten women, concubines, to keep the house. 17 And the king went out with all the people after him, and stopped at the outskirts. 18 Then all his servants passed before him; and all the Cherethites, all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men who had followed him from Gath, passed before the king.
19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why are you also going with us? Return and remain with the king. For you are a foreigner and also an exile from your own place. 20 In fact, you came only yesterday. Should I make you wander up and down with us today, since I go I know not where? Return, and take your brethren back. Mercy and truth be with you.”
21 But Ittai answered the king and said, As the Lord lives, and as my lord the king lives, surely in whatever place my lord the king shall be, whether in death or life, even there also your servant will be.”
22 So David said to Ittai, “Go, and cross over.” Then Ittai the Gittite and all his men and all the little ones who were with him crossed over. 23 And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people crossed over. The king himself also crossed over the Brook Kidron, and all the people crossed over toward the way of the wilderness.
24 There was Zadok also, and all the Levites with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God, and Abiathar went up until all the people had finished crossing over from the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place. 26 But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.
30 So David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they went up. 31 Then someone told David, saying, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O Lord, I pray, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness!”
32 Now it happened when David had come to the top of the mountain, where he worshiped God—there was Hushai the Archite coming to meet him with his robe torn and dust on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, then you will become a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I was your father’s servant previously, so I will now also be your servant,’ then you may defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me. 35 And do you not have Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? Therefore it will be that whatever you hear from the king’s house, you shall tell to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Indeed they have there with them their two sons, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son; and by them you shall send me everything you hear.”
37 So Hushai, David’s friend, went into the city.  And Absalom came back into Jerusalem.