Day 132: David and Absalom

2 Samuel 14:33 A ruse orchestrated by Joab convinced David to let Absalom live despite the gravity of his crime. He arranged for Absalom to live in a house as long as he stayed away from the king. After a time, Absalom connived to meet his father, the king, and was symbolically forgiven with a kiss. (CCC 1465)


Psalm 14 Another distinction is made between the just and the evildoers: The just seek God, and the wicked reject God and even deny his existence. Denial of God’s existence is known as ATHEISM, while the belief that professes uncertainty regarding God’s existence is called AGNOSTICISM. Both positions are offenses against the First Commandment.


The fool says in his heart: One who opines that God does not exist is a fool because his existence, as St. Thomas Aquinas pointed out, is certainly discernible through the light of human reason alone.


There is none that does good: Rejection of God amounts to sinful behavior and consequently harm to the common good. (CCC 35, 402-403, 2122-2128)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • And here we are

  • Here is the story of Absalom and David

  • This is going to get worse, just so you know

  • David gets persuaded to bring Absalom back

  • Remember yesterday, he fled to Talmai, son of Ammihud, king of Geshur

  • He is living in exile

  • Remember Joab is in charge of the army

  • He wants Absalom to come back to Jerusalem

  • He hires a woman to tell David a story

  • It’s similar to Nathan the Prophet when he busted David for his sin with Bathsheba and Uriah

  • This woman Joab hires is a widow who has two sons, one son killed the other son, and people want to kill the murdering son

  • She asks David what she should do

  • So David tells her that she has to keep her family intact and restore her son to a place of safety

  • This woman is SO BOLD

  • She convicts David in a similar way that Nathan the Prophet did, with the story of the shepherd who had everything and took the one ewe-lamb

  • So David is convinced

  • David also notices that this is Joab’s work

  • Why would Joab want Absalom to not be in Gesher anymore?

  • Why would Joab want Absalom to be close to David?

  • We know that Joab is very loyal to David

  • Chances are very good that Joab recognized that Absalom posed a great threat to David

  • If he stays in Gesher, he could raise a rebellion against David

  • So it is likely that Joab orchestrated all of this so that Absalom could be close to David and not be much of a threat

  • This will backfire

  • We also see something important

  • We also see that Absalom is the kind of guy who is not willing to put up with much

  • He’s not willing to put up with the sin against Tamar

  • He is not willing to put up with being exiled

  • He is not willing to put up with Joab not responding to him

  • After the third time calling Joab to speak, he sets his field on fire

  • So what happens?

  • Joab goes to the king and asks him to make peace with Absalom

  • Absalom bows to David and David kisses him

  • That’s the extent of forgiveness and repentance

  • THIS IS KEY FOR US

  • Absalom shows NO SIGN OF REPENTANCE

  • Absalom shows NO SIGN of realizing he was wrong in killing his brother

  • YES, AMNON WAS WRONG TO RAPE TAMAR

  • But Absalom shows NO REPENTANCE in killing his own brother

  • David shows NO REAL FORGIVENESS

  • Yes he lets Absalom return

  • But he doesn’t see Absalom for 2 YEARS

  • THAT’S NOT REAL FORGIVENESS

  • Here’s how God forgives us

  • God calls us to TRUE REPENTANCE

  • God calls us to TURN AWAY FROM OUR SINS

  • God calls us to TURN BACK TO HIM

  • BUT THEN HE GIVES US FULL FORGIVENESS

  • God gives us COMPLETE ACCESS TO HIMSELF

  • But here is David, in so many ways, who is a GOOD KING

  • In this way, he was NOT A GOOD FATHER

  • In this way, he was not an image of THE FATHER

  • In this way, he was not an image of JESUS CHRIST THE KING OF KINGS

  • He gives PARTIAL forgiveness, which ISN’T TRUE FORGIVENESS

  • “Yeah, you can come back to town but you can’t be in my presence”

  • Think about how GOOD God the Father is

  • When we are forgiven in Jesus Christ, we are given COMPLETE ACCESS to the Father’s House and to the Father’s Heart

  • BUT…

  • We also have to have REPENTANCE

  • In 2 Samuel 14, we see NEITHER

  • NO REPENTANCE

  • NO REAL FORGIVENESS

  • What we will see soon in the following chapters is that WITHOUT REPENTANCE there is NO TRUE FORGIVENESS

  • Without TRUE FORGIVENESS AND RECONCILIATION, we find REBELLION

  • So what do we take away from this?

  • We need to come BEFORE THE LORD

  • LET GO OF YOUR SINS

  • LET GO OF WHATEVER YOU HAVE CHOSEN INSTEAD OF GOD

  • CLING TO THE LORD

  • In Christ Jesus we have FULL FORGIVENESS

  • In Christ Jesus we have FULL ACCESS

  • To the Father’s HOUSE

  • To the Father’s HEART

  • We can’t do that on our own

  • WE NEED GOD’S GRACE

  • It’s a CONSTANT PROCESS OF REPENTANCE

  • It’s a CONSTANT PROCESS OF CONVERSION

  • Sometimes, it’s HARD TO LET GO

  • Sometimes, it’s HARD TO TRUST IN THE LORD

  • Sometimes, it’s HARD TO BE FORGIVEN

  • KEEP PRAYING that we all can be people who are CONSTANTLY being CONVERTED BACK TO THE LORD

  • KEEP PRAYING that we all can be people who are CONSTANTLY REPENTING OF OUR SINS

  • KEEP PRAYING that we all can be people who are CONSTANTLY EXPERIENCING THE BEAUTY AND POWER OF GOD’S MERCY AND FORGIVENESS

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE

  • PRAY FOR EACH OTHER


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you thanks and we give you praise. You are a good God and you are a good Dad. Lord God, you are a good Dad. You are a good Father and you continue to meet us. You forgive us completely. But you also call us to complete repentance. You offer forgiveness totally but you also call us to totally come back to you. And so help us, please Father. Help us do that. Help us to come back totally so that your mercy may totally transform us. That your grace may totally transform us. That your love may totally renew us. Lord God, bring us back to you. Let your face shine on us, and we shall be saved. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”