Summary: Same vicinity. Same City. Same neighborhood. Same circle of friends. But no in your face moments?
In Your Face
Text: 2 Samuel 14:21, 25-26, 28, 14b
2 Samuel 14:21 – 21Then the king said to Joab, "Behold now, I will surely do this thing; go therefore, bring back the young man Absalom."
2 Samuel 14:25-26 - 25 In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. 26 Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair from time to time when it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard.
2 Samuel 14:28 - 28Now Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and did not see the king’s face.
2 Samuel 14:14b “But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.”
But God does not take away life. He works out ways to get the exile back.
David was without a doubt powerful leader. He was certainly an anointed worshipper. And yet for all of his power and anointing when we look to David as a father he falls completely on the other end of the spectrum. His family was completely and utterly dysfunctional. To say that his parenting skills were limited is a gross understatement. His family is marked by incest, jealousy, bloodshed and in the case of his most handsome, popular son Absalom, rebellion.
Absalom was an up and coming leader. He was the poster boy for StudsRus. He was athletic and powerful. He was skilled in fighting. The ladies would melt at the sight of him. He was a playa, if you will. He had perfect hair. But for all of his positive attributes he had some equally bad ones. You know that he had a problem with ego. He began to read his own press clippings and to listen to unwise counsel. He was unwilling to allow the natural order of succession to take place and had determined in his own mind that what David could do he could do better and he should do it now. He had an appetite for a throne. He had designs on a crown. He wanted to force his way into kingship.
The passage I read to you takes place just prior to his runaway ego. Here we discover that one of his issues was that he held grudges. If you go backwards one chapter into 2 Samuel 13 you discover that Absalom’s brother Amnon rapes their sister Tamar. Absalom finds out about it and he waits 2 full years take revenge by killing his own brother. David hears about what Absalom has done and gets angry. So Absalom flees to Geshur and lives there with his grandfather for 3 years. Three years away from David. Three years away from his father.
Then I read to you that David finally sends for Absalom and Absalom moves back into Jerusalem. However, it is here that we read the interesting and extremely sad portion of Scripture that says, “Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and did not see the king’s face.”
It is this heart breaking and wrenching statement that I want to focus in on just for a few minutes. I want you, if you will, to take a moment and read between the lines of this statement.
Absalom lives in the same town as his father, the king, and never see’s his face. How does this happen? Does this mean that Absalom never attended any family functions? Does this mean the son would go out of his way to avoid the presence of the king or perhaps vice versa? Do you think that perhaps there were days when they were both in Wal-Mart that one would spot the other and before the other one would catch a glimpse of them they would turn down the aisle quickly and escape contact? How do you live in the same area of town, have contact and run with the same associates, belong to the same family and yet never see each other face to face.
Absalom continued to live like a prince. He had the benefits of the family name. He continued to have some measure of favor. His family was blessed. He had strong sons and a beautiful daughter. His finances were blessed because if you read 2 Samuel 15 he was able to muster a chariot and 50 men to run in front of him wherever he went. And yet, he lived in the same neighborhood, community, and cul-de-sac for 2 full years without ever seeing the face of the king!
I want to submit a thought to you this morning that is also a challenge. I wonder if this picture is an accurate glimpse into many of our lives?