Wiersbe points out that, based on corresponding passages in the Psalms, David knew he was being chastened or disciplined by God and he would continue to seek God and be faithful, accepting God;s will and plan. Even when those around him couldn't see God's hand in his life, he would choose faith and submission.
Wiersbe frames the passage as the story of three kings:
- handsome, charming, manipulative, a liar, and absolutely committed to gaining the throne. He was patient, waiting two years to murder Amnon and another four years of exile and "reconciliation" before revolting against David.
- It sounds like expert think that David was sick during this time. That's why he was unable to attend to court duties or keep an eye on Absalom.
- He started usurping David's kingly court duties by short-circuiting the system and meeting people at the gate to hear complaints. then he would made promises to everyone in their favor.
- And he began criticizing David by saying that he (Absalom) should be a judge.
- Then Absalom really digs a whole for himself when he asks David is he can go to Hebron to fulfill a vow he made to God. So he brings 200 important people together in a quasi-religious ceremony, in the name of a vow to God.
- Finally, Absalom sent his spies around with word that once the trumpet sounds, announce that "Absalom is King in Hebron."
Here's the answer to my query about Ahithophel. I had read it as Absalom luring Ahithophel away and sort of holding him hostage to deprive David of the advice. But I had forgotten that Ahithophel is the grandfather of Bathsheba. So David's adultery with her and murder of her husband, may have left Ahithophel with an ax to grind and Absalom gave him the reason and the method. Wiersbe theorizes that Ahithophel may have masterminded the whole thing, once he was on board--as he was known to be cunning and wise.
2. David who fled to the wilderness for a second time.
- The Cherethites and Pelethites were David's personal bodyguards.
- The men from Gath and Ittai were Philistines.
- The phrase "crossed over" or "passed over" are used 9 times in this passage.
- There were parts of David's journey across the Kidron and up the Mount of Olives that made me wonder if they were connected to Jesus. Wiersbe does include some commentary on it, but it's not a very convincing case. I'll have to look and see if anyone else has a commentary on it with a more factual analysis.
- David expressed his faith that God was sovereign and would keep His covenant with David.
- Time after time on the Psalms related to this scene, David starts by crying out to the Lord and ends affirming his faith in Who God Is.
- David told Zadok to take the Ark back. It was not a good luck charm. God could defend Himself and who He wanted to be king, would be king.
David wept on his way up the hill.
David finds out his closest confidant betrayed him
David's friend, Hushai showed up and gets sent back to "serve" Absalom for the ultimate purpose of serving David.