Absalom - Usurper of the Throne

A Type of the Spirit of Antichrist.

Sunday, November 15, 2020, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


2 Samuel 13-19


“There is no furlough in the Fight of Faith”


Last week I preached on the “key of David,” and the ruler anointing.  As we watch all the political corruption in our election process for the office of the President of the United States, perhaps we will see parallels with the illicit treason in the House of David.


Katie Knowlton unknowingly pointed me toward this message on Absalom.  She sent me an email that archeologists have discovered the gates of the Kingdom of Geshur.  Well, I had to look up Geshur.


Absalom’s mother was a princess of Geshur, and his grandfather was king of Geshur. 


Absalom is a type of the spirit of antichrist and a usurper to God’s anointed ruler.  


Absalom murdered his brother, Amnon, who was David’s oldest son and heir to the throne.  At this time, David was 53; Amnon, 22, Absalom, 20, Tamar, 15; Solomon 2.


Lust and lawlessness ruled and Amnon violated Tamar, his half-sister who was a full sister to Absalom.    


Amnon raped his sister Tamar.  The Word distinguishes carefully between the reactions of Absalom and his father:  King David was furious.  But Absalom hated Amnon.  Anger breaks out, but nothing is done.  David’s love for his children has something unmanly about it.   Absalom has no regard for his father’s anointing from God to be king of Israel.  His eye is fixed firmly on his father’s throne.


For two years Absalom plotted his revenge against Amnon.   The murder of Amnon was clearly premeditated.  The two-year delay indicates ambition as much as concern for his sister.


When the news reached David, it was reported:  Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons; not one of them is left.  Verse 30 teaches us not to give credence to any evil report until it has been verified.


Then Jonadab, David’s nephew answered and said, let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead.  Absalom has sought revenge for his sister, Tamar.


Jonadab was a subtle busybody in the king’s court.  He is the one that planned the plot to rape Tamar and aided Amnon to set the plan in place. 


2 Samuel 13:37-38:  Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day.  So, Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years.


Talmai was his mother’s father.  Geshur was the Syrian province on the northern border of Bashan beyond Jordan.  Absalom was the son of a Syrian princess and the son of the King of Israel.    


Ammon’s sordid conduct and Absalom’s violence are reported immediately after David’s great sin.  In chapter 14, we are told David did not execute punishment for Ammon’s incest or Absalom’s fratricide.  I am connecting this to the sins of the House of Biden.   Did David’s lapse contribute to the sons’ wrongdoing, as well as David’s indulgence of his sons’ lusts and lack of discipline?


Absalom was in Geshur for three years.  We can wonder if while he was under the influence of the Kingdom of Geshur that he was instructed in his cabol to overthrow the king of Israel? 


David continued to grieve over Absalom’s absence.  So, the General of his army, Joab, plans a great deception to convince David to bring Absalom back.  Joab fetched a wise woman (Serpent’s wisdom) from Tekoa.  She feigned a story about her own sons which in fact was the story of Amnon and Absalom.  She used flattery and deception to persuade David to bring Absalom home.


Note the deceiving, politicking nature of Joab and Absalom throughout this section taking advantage of David’s love. 


The spirit of antichrist is selfish, rude, arrogant, proud, haughty, insolent, self-willed, ignoring its own crimes with no value between law and lawlessness.  We are seeing this play out in our 2020 election.  Just as we have seen lawlessness play out in our streets during the election campaign, we are now seeing the same lawlessness in the election process.  If Donald J. Trump does not stand up against this lawlessness, we will never have another fair election in our country. 


On Absalom’s return, he was kept from the king’s presence and the palace for two years.  Absalom felt no remorse and showed no repentance.  Conspiracy was afoot.


By flattery and David’s failure to establish a judiciary punishment for Absalom’s crimes, Absalom won the hearts of the Israelites. He kissed the hands of the people and stole their hearts.   It took him four years (not forty-K.J.V.) to plan his uprising.  He chose Hebron (his birthplace) to set up his coup, for there he had discovered disaffection with David because of loss of prestige when the capital was moved from Hebron to Jerusalem   Today Hebron is under Palestinian governance and is a microcosm of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank.

Fom Hebron, Absalom sent messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, as soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, Absalom is king in Hebron.

The secret messengers were obviously intelligence officers, if not electioneering agents, whose job was to discover the possibilities of support for Absalom in the south and exploit it.  They were spies. They were sent forth with a false narrative and fake news to declare Absalom king.  

2 Sam. 15: 11-12: With Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called; and they went in their simplicity, and they knew not anything.  Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.


The 200 men who were “simple” means they were very immature and knew nothing. They were innocently following the spirit of rebellion.


Ahithophel the Gilonite was the grandfather of Bathsheba; and would become the great-grandfather of the future King of Israel except he chose to go with Absalom. Ahithophel typifies Judas and I might add Fox News.  Ahithophel’s counsel was instigated by feelings pf private revenge against David for his sin with Bathsheba. 


Now, we can say our present government is in chaos and confusion; but Israel was in just as bad a shape as we are in today.  Except Absalom was killed in the uprising and David continued as King of Israel to fulfill his Kingdom destiny.


Word came to David that the people were supporting Absalom to be king. David shows his true greatness on this his day of trouble.  He humbly bows himself under the bitter blow and leaves the future to the Lord, without, however, neglecting to take what steps he can.  He humbly leaves Jerusalem with his loyal entourage.  


During a time of trouble, such as we are now seeing in our own government and in David’s time, there was a clear separation of those who were David’s supporters and those who had been feigning support for his reign.  Whenever trouble comes, it is a time of clear delineation of friends and those who are jealous, covetous, and/or enemies.  It is a good thing and good way to clean out the chaff.


The king’s flight evoked deep sympathy wherever he passed.  The loyal priests, Abiathar and Zadok, with the attendant staff of Levities, brought the ark from Jerusalem, but David, no doubt remembering the disaster at Ebenezer (1 Sam. 4:11) ordered its return.  We can say, the Lord had not left Jerusalem; and his chosen king would return.


David laid the matter before the Lord.


David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went… at the the sanctuary summit of the Mount of Olives, David persuaded his friend, Hushai, to return to Jerusalem and join Absalom’s staff as a spy, passing on information to David via the two priests and their sons Ahimaaz ad Jonathan.  Hushai’s arrival at Jerusalem coincided with Absalom’s triumphal entry.


In Chapter 16, David endures the cursing of two rivals:


1.      Miphibosheth’s wiley steward, Ziba met David with a false story from Miphibosheth.  Opinions as to the loyalty of Ziba and Mephibosheth are divided.  We will sort that out another day.  They are types of demonic spirits we will encounter when we are in the midst of a battle.

2.      David’s next trial also comes from the house of Saul.  As the royal cortege proceeded, Shimel son of Gera met David and cursed him. Abishai wanted to execute him, but David would have none of it. 


Meanwhile in Jerusalem, Absalom was setting up his government with Ahithophel as right-hand man.  We can say he appointed himself as King-elect.  Neither Absalom or Ahithophel suspected the genuineness of Hushai’s offer.   


2 Samuel 16:22-23: They pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.

Tools.  Now the advice of Ahithophel, which he gave in those days, was as if one had inquired at the oracle of God. So was all the advice of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.


This oriental custom gave the public evidence that Absalom had taken the throne of David. Some people are deceived; but not everyone. 


We see the parallels today with the deception of the public through false narratives and false images of truth.  


Truth imparts life every time it goes forth.  Knowledge must give way to the truth before it can be meaningful and liberating.  If it is a mere repetition of knowledge, it will slay more and more; but if like the rain and the sunshine it comes to your heart in the seasons of growth, it will nurture and bless and unfold in your life with the beauty of the living Christ.


The prayer of David in 2 Samuel 15:31, is here answered:


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!”


Ahithophel advises a military coup.  With 12,000 men he could pursue and strike down David when he is weary and weak.  In the ensuing panic, David alone was to die.  The death of the man you seek will mean the return of all; all the people will be unharmed.


Hushai was sent for to seek his counsel.  You know your father and his men, they are fighters, and as fierce as a wild bear robbed of her cubs.  Moreover, David, an outstanding soldier, will not be caught so easily.  All available forces should be deployed and Absalom should lead them. 


17: 14: …The Lord had determined to defeat the advice of Ahithophel in order to bring disaster on Absalom.


Ahithophel put his house in order and hanged himself.


Hushai reported the news to the priests, Zadok and Abiatha. 


Absalom’s hastily recruited troops were no match for David’s veteran army.  David wisely kept out of this battle in the woods of Ephraim.  Absalom’s head (not his hair0 is said to have been caught in the oak.


David had given instructions to deal gently with Absalom.  A man saw Absalom caught in the oak and told Joab.  Joab took three darts and thrust them through Absalom’s heart.  Ten of Joab’s armor-bearers then smote and slew him. Then Joab blew the trumpet. 


David lamented and provided a touching scene of paternal love for a worthless son who was a traitor, murderer, and if possible, would have killed his father the king.

David’s inordinate grief ruined his victory. 


Joab jolted David out of grief.  The people called him back to Jerusalem.  Rebellion was dead, but strife ruled.  David showed mercy to Shimel.  Miphibosheth’s genuine joy at David’s return was proof enough of Ziba’s treachery.


This story is not the end of David’s battles.  David had learned there is no furlough in the fight of faith.  But through all his battles, he wrote the glorious songs of praise to God.


David represents spiritual leadership in a spiritual government.


Jehovah’s choice of David (and not his conduct) made him a man after God’s own heart. (not human judgment).


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church

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