Summary: This sermon deals with the sin of pride as well as other lessons we can learn from Absalom.
Pride Goes Before A Fall
1 And David numbered the people who were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.
2Then David sent out one third of the people under the hand of Joab, one third under the hand of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, and one third under the hand of Ittai the Gittite. And the king said to the people, "I also will surely go out with you myself."
3But the people answered, "You shall not go out! For if we flee away, they will not care about us; nor if half of us die, will they care about us. But you are worth ten thousand of us now. For you are now more help to us in the city."
4Then the king said to them, "Whatever seems best to you I will do." So the king stood beside the gate, and all the people went out by hundreds and by thousands.
5Now the king had commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, saying, "Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom." And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains orders concerning Absalom.
6So the people went out into the field of battle against Israel. And the battle was in the woods of Ephraim.
7The people of Israel were overthrown there before the servants of David, and a great slaughter of twenty thousand took place there that day.
8For the battle there was scattered over the face of the whole countryside, and the woods devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.
9Then Absalom met the servants of David. Absalom rode on a mule. The mule went under the thick boughs of a great terebinth tree, and his head caught in the terebinth; so he was left hanging between heaven and earth. And the mule which was under him went on.
10Now a certain man saw it and told Joab, and said, "I just saw Absalom hanging in a terebinth tree!"
11So Joab said to the man who told him, "You just saw him! And why did you not strike him there to the ground? I would have given you ten shekels of silver and a belt."
12But the man said to Joab, "Though I were to receive a thousand shekels of silver in my hand, I would not raise my hand against the king's son. For in our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, saying, 'Beware lest anyone touch the young man Absalom!'
13Otherwise I would have dealt falsely against my own life. For there is nothing hidden from the king, and you yourself would have set yourself against me."
14Then Joab said, "I cannot linger with you." And he took three spears in his hand and thrust them through Absalom's heart, while he was still alive in the midst of the terebinth tree. 15And ten young men who bore Joab's armor surrounded Absalom, and struck and killed him.
16So Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel. For Joab held back the people.
17And they took Absalom and cast him into a large pit in the woods, and laid a very large heap of stones over him. Then all Israel fled, everyone to his tent.
18Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up a pillar for himself, which is in the King's Valley. For he said, "I have no son to keep my name in remembrance." He called the pillar after his own name. And to this day it is called Absalom's Monument.
We continue our series on The Life of David.
Today's main character is Absalom.
Many years later, his nephew Solomon would be inspired by God to write:
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
My guess is that Solomon had been told about his uncle Absalom.
Solomon knew that Absalom's prideful attitude led to his destruction.
Last Sunday we saw David was on the run from his son Absalom.
Absalom had spent quite a bit of time
winning over the people of influence in Israel.
He had taken over his father's throne in Jerusalem.
David and his household fled for their lives.
There were many others loyal to David who fled with him.
While David was fleeing, one of his advisors named Hushai the Arkite
wanted to go with him.
David convinced Hushai to return to Jerusalem
and pretend to serve Absalom.
David wanted Hushai to give bad advice to Absalom
and send word back to him about what Absalom was doing.
David's former advisor Ahithophel also serving Absalom.
However, Ahithophel was totally loyal to Absalom.
What was Ahithophel's problem with David?
Ahithophel was Bathsheba's grandfather.
He was probably angry over what David did to her and her husband Uriah.