Summary: As David’s world begins to crumble around him, his friends begin to show up and lend their support. A true friend is someone who comes in when the whole world has gone out.
A. Let me begin with a couple of stories that illustrate a contrast in friendship.
B. The story is told of a man who came home to find two little girls on the steps of his appartment building. Both were crying uncontrollably; shedding big tears.
1. Thinking they might be hurt, the man dropped his briefcase and quickly went over to them. “Are you all right?” he asked.
2. Still sobbing, one little girl held up her doll. “My baby’s arm came off,” she said.
3. The man took the doll and its disjointed arm, and after a little effort and luck, the doll was back together.
4. “Thank you,” came a whisper through the sniffles.
5. The man then turned to the other girl and asked, "And what’s making you cry, young lady?”
6. She wiped her cheeks and said, “I’m okay, I was just helping her cry.”
7. How sweet! And what a good friend!
C. The second story is one of Aesop’s Fables called “The Bear and The Travelers.”
1. One day, two travelers were on the road together, when a bear suddenly appeared on the scene.
2. Before the bear noticed them, one man made for a tree at the side of the road, and climbed up into the branches and hid there.
3. The other was not so nimble as his companion; and, because he could not escape, he threw himself on the ground and pretended to be dead.
4. The bear came up and sniffed all around him, but the man kept perfectly still and held his breath; for they say that a bear will not touch a dead body.
5. The bear took him for a corpse, and went away.
6. When the coast was clear, the traveler in the tree came down, and asked the other what it was the bear had whispered to him when he put his mouth to his ear.
7. The other replied, “He told me never again travel with a friend who deserts you at the first sign of danger.”
8. The moral of the story is - misfortune tests the sincerity of friendship.
D. There are few things more important in life than good friends – we all need them!
1. What does it mean to be a friend? A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Here are some of the definitions they received:
a. A friend is “one who multiplies joys, divides grief…”
b. A friend is “one who understands your silence.”
c. Here’s the winning definition: “A friend is one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”
2. Oprah Winfrey says, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who’ll take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.”
3. Erma Bombeck said, “A friend is someone who thinks you’re a good egg, even though you’re a little cracked.”
4. The poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once described friendship as “a sheltering tree.”
5. What a beautiful description of that special relationship.
6. Can you picture your friends as great leafy trees who spread themselves over you, providing shade from the sun, and whose presence can stand against an awful storm or a blast of winter’s wind?
7. A great sheltering tree; now that’s a good friend.
I. The Story:
A. As we look at the next stage of King David’s life, we find a man who had not only a sheltering tree, but a whole grove of them! And boy if he ever needed some friends the time was now.
1. Let’s review David’s situation.
2. He had committed adultery with Bathsheba, and then killed her husband.
3. On the heels of all that he lived many months as a hypocrite.
4. As a result of all that, he lost his baby and was watching his whole world crumble.
5. Anger, bitterness, incest, rape, murder and rebellion occurred among his now-grown children and eventually culminated in his son Absalom leading a conspiracy against him.
6. So David was certainly suffering in all aspects of life – personally, domestically and politically.
B. So when word came to David that Absalom had declared himself to be the king, the Bible says: Then David said to all his officials who were with him in Jerusalem, “Come! We must flee, or none of us will escape from Absalom. We must leave immediately, or he will move quickly to overtake us and bring ruin upon us and put the city to the sword.” (2 Sam. 15:14)
1. So try to picture the scene – the once-great king David is scrambling around, throwing a few things in a bag, preparing to flee from his own son.
2. After all these years as king, he is once again running for his life – it surely must have brought up bad memories from his years on the run from King Saul.