Last Sunday our lesson was from 2 Samuel 15 and we saw that another of David’s sons, Absalom, was the featured character. We saw Absalom orchestrate a pronouncement of himself as king. In so doing, he shows just how cunning, crafty and insubordinate he really was. When word of this attempted coup reached David, he and his loyal followers fled Jerusalem. David was forced to demonstrate trust in God as opposed to trusting in items, such as the ark, to worship God.
Today’s lesson is “Restored” in 2 Samuel 19 and focuses on how David’s people lost trust in him and how he regained it. As we saw last week, Absalom’s insurrection against his dad, David, forced the king to flee from Jerusalem with his household and a contingent of loyal mercenary soldiers. 2 Samuel 18 is skipped in our lesson plans but it sets the scene for today’s lesson.
Read 2 Samuel 19:1-4 “Mourning”
Why would David have been sad to lose a son who had caused so much pain and misery to the family?
Who was Joab?
Why did David’s troops have the right to celebrate and be joyful? They had fought bravely and won a decisive victory for their king. They had crushed the coup and killed the traitor, Absalom.
Why might the soldiers have become confused? As we said, they had just won a decisive victory, killed the traitor and leader of the coup, all for their king. Their king was openly mourning as described in 2 Samuel 18:33 and essentially drained any pride of victory and enthusiasm from the troops.
How did David’s troops respond to their king’s sadness?
What are leader’s responsibilities to their people during complicated times? Leaders must wisely manage their own emotions as well as those of their people.
Read 2 Samuel 19:5-8 “Confrontation”
What did Joab fear about David’s public mourning? He probably recognized that the people sympathized with David, but he knew the king’s continued mourning threatened to cause permanent damage to David’s rule.
What two strong points did Joab make in verse 5?
What was the significance of this battle that David was failing to recognize?
What did Joab accuse David of doing? He accused David of loving Absalom more than any other family member. Joab let David know that it seemed as though David would have gladly sacrificed everyone else to keep Absalom alive.
Not sure if Joab was aware, but what greater threat posed by Absalom’s rebellion did his indictment of David point to?
Think about this criticism coming from a rough, battle hardened general. Why is it difficult for us to hear criticism from others, even when done in love and wisdom? We must learn to recognize wise counsel. The Holy Spirit will show us how to handle this criticism if we allow it to. I cannot help but wonder if our leaders today can handle this type of constructive criticism.
What did the king do? He got up and went to the city gate to see the troops and people but I expect he had to swallow some pride first.
Was this the first time someone confronted David about his actions? If time permits you might consider the Bible Skill on page 85 of the quarterly.
Read 2 Samuel 19:9-15 “Restoration”
Why was there disunity among the people and arguing in the nation about what should be done? Absalom had been chosen king which means David was no longer king. Absalom was a dead traitor. If the people wanted David to be king again, the necessary steps would have to be taken. Wondering how vengeful David would be brought anxiety to many of the people. Others were still lamenting the loss of their own loved ones at the hands of David’s soldiers. Actually David was still in exile from his capitol city.
How did David go about resolving the varying emotions among the people? He sent envoys to persuade the elders of Judah that all of the other Israelite tribes already had confirmed their loyalty to David. They were to appeal to the elders’ tribal pride and blood relationship to David. Next he replaced Joab with Amasa, a former commander in Absalom’s army during the coup attempt. Basically, as verse 14 says, “he won over all the men of Juda, and they unanimously sent word to the king: “Come back, you and all your servants.” Then David returned to Jerusalem.
We can manage emotions in selfish ways or in ways that truly solve the problems behind the emotions. Look at the four actions David recorded in Psalm 37:3 to take when our emotions are strong. “Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.”
Summary: What actions will help us honor God while resolving problems?
· Sometimes the discussions that happen before or after the meeting, at work or church, are as destructive as the talk within a solution meeting.
· We must choose never to gossip or criticize on the side.
· We must take our concerns directly to those who can solve the problem and be part of the solutions.
· Together we are stronger. God created us to live in community and to solve problems that way.
Close in prayer asking God to help us establish trusting relationships with other Christians and to repair relationships that have been damaged by lack of trust.