2 Samuel 15:1-12
Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.
- Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
- Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
- List out all that you are grateful for.
- Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.
Bible Text: 2 Samuel 15:1-12 (ESV)
1 After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” 3 Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” 4 Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” 5 And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
7 And at the end of four years Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the Lord, in Hebron. 8 For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the Lord will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to the Lord.’” 9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, ‘Absalom is king at Hebron!’” 11 With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. 12 And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing.?”
39 Therefore they could not believe. For again Isaiah said,
40 “He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
lest they see with their eyes,
and understand with their heart, and turn,
and I would heal them.”
41 Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him. 42 Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
44 And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45 And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 46 I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 47 If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 49 For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 50 And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
2 Samuel 15:1-6
• What is wrong with Absalom endorsing people’s grievances?
• What about human nature can I learn from Absalom’s success in gaining the hearts of the men of Israel?
2 Samuel 15:1-12
“Absalom is no sooner restored to his place at court than he aims to be on the throne. He that was unhumbled under his troubles became insufferably proud when they were over; and he cannot be content with the honour of being the king’s son, and the prospect of being his successor, but he must be king now.” 
• Reflect on Absalom’s unrepentant attitude in the previous chapter. Are there ways in which I have responded to grace with increased arrogance?
“In their conquest of the land, the Israelites defeated Og, king of Bashan, and Jair of Manasseh took Bashan as far as the border of the Geshurites and Maacathites (Dt 3:14). Though the land of the Geshurites was given to the Transjordanian tribes (Jos 13:11), Israel did not drive them out (v 13). Later, Geshur and Aram took at least 60 towns from the Israelites in Transjordan (1 Chr 2:23).
“David married Maacah, daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, and she bore Absalom (2 Sm 3:3; 1 Chr 3:2). After the vengeful murder of Amnon, Absalom fled to Geshur for refuge with his grandfather, Talmai (2 Sm 13:37) and stayed there three years.” 
• Absalom’s conspiratorial murder of Amnon; his subsequent flight to Geshur to stay three years with his maternal grandfather, the king of Geshur (a nation which has been at war with Israel); the odd manner of his return and his subsequent internal exile; and David’s eventual acceptance of him, all somehow contributed to this final act of open rebellion. Reflect on the ways in which David failed Absalom as a father and king, and the points of intervention that David missed. What are some ways I harbor similar passivity and fail to take painful corrective steps with someone who has gone wayward?
 Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible, 2 Samuel 15 at http://www.studylight.org/com/mhc-com/view.cgi?book=2sa&chapter=015, W. A. Elwell & P.W. Comfort, Tyndale Bible dictionary. (Wheaton, IL.: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 527.