Journey Through The Scriptures

David, Part III

Lesson 5: More Revolt in the Kingdom

(Scripture to Read: 2 Samuel 19:1–20:26)

It seems inconceivable that after David’s great victory over the rebel army of Absalom, another pretender would attempt to steal David’s throne. More rebellion lay ahead for David, but it is obvious that none of this concerned him as he mourned for Absalom. Both Joab and David’s army got the unintended message that David cared more about Absalom’s death than their loyalty and welfare. The blunt general Joab took it upon himself to rebuke David harshly and warn him that his victory and army would be lost unless he showed concern for and provided leadership to his loyal troops. David shook off his grief and resumed his place as leader.

It is interesting to see many of David’s former enemies and those who had sided with Absalom falling over themselves, as it were, to make peace with David on his way back to Jerusalem. The king could have marched back and taken his throne by force, but he preferred to return peacefully at the request of the people. The hostility and mistrust between the northern and southern tribes of Israel is evident all through this story, a situation that would lead to a divided kingdom several generations later. A man named Sheba saw his chance to take advantage of this strife and lead a rebellion, but he failed miserably and lost his life. In the process, Joab reverted to the treacherous and cruel side of his nature in the brutal murder of Amasa.

Study Questions

  1. Why did David appoint Amasa as the new commander of his army (19:13)?
  2. How did David’s treatment of Shimei reveal this great king’s compassion (19:23)?
  3. What was so deceitful about the way Joab attacked Amasa?
  4. As violent as Joab was, how did he show restraint and compassion in the case of Sheba?

Something to Think About

David’s tenderness toward his enemies and those who mistreated him without cause is a worthy model for us to follow. Being kindhearted and forgiving in victory is not always easy to do, especially if those who tried to hurt us did so unjustly. But the way we respond when we have the opportunity for revenge reveals our true character.