II Samuel 14:25 - 15:12

Sunday, September 6th, 2015



Spiritually speaking, there are two kinds of persons in the world. People either fall into the category of being saved or of being unsaved.

Saved persons likewise fall into two categories. Some are Spirit filled, i.e. controlled more by the Holy Spirit than they are by their old sin natures. Others are carnal, i.e. controlled more by their old sin natures than they are by the Holy Spirit.

A Spirit-filled Christian is one who is saved, surrendered, and submissive to the teaching of the Scripture. He pursues after the Lord with his heart, soul, mind, and strength.

When one does not live faithfully for the Lord, he allows his old sin nature to control his life, he grieves the Holy Spirit and quenches the Holy Spirit. He does not grow and mature as a believer.

The characteristics of an unsaved man as contrasted with those of a saved man are found in several passages of the Scriptures. Now, here's a little problem. The backslidden Christian or carnal Christian will have some of the same characteristics as an unsaved person. Thus, at first glance it may be difficult for a believer to tell whether someone is living under the control of the flesh because he is saved, but backslidden, or whether he is unsaved.

That there is such a thing as a carnal Christian is made clear in I Corinthians.

It is clear that I Corinthians was written to believers -

I Corinthians 1:1-2 - 1 Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, and Sosthenes our brother, 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours.

Paul refers to these believers in Corinth as carnal -

I Corinthians 3:1-3 - 1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?

As human beings, we cannot always distinguish someone who is genuinely saved from someone who claims to be saved but is not.

I Samuel 16:7 - But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Although we recognize that we may not always be able to know for certain about the salvation of a particular person, there are some things which indicate if someone has been genuinely saved.

1. The person who is genuinely saved has been changed.

II Corinthians 5:17-18 - 17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.

2. The person who is genuinely saved will experience chastisement.

Hebrews 12:5-8 - 5 And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.

3. The person who is genuinely saved will experience the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 8:9 - But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

4. The person who is genuinely saved will have the fruit of the Spirit produced in his life.

Galatians 5:22-23 - (22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, (23) Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

5. The person who is genuinely saved will experience an inner conflict between the Holy Spirit and his old sin nature.

Galatians 5:16-17 - (16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. (17) For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

6. The person who is genuinely saved will evidence the wisdom that is from above in his life.

James 3:13-18 - (13) Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation [i.e. conduct or manner of life] his works with meekness of wisdom. (14) But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not [i.e. boast not], and lie not against the truth. (15) This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. (16) For where envying [i.e. jealousy] and strife [i.e. selfish ambition] is, there is confusion and every evil work. (17) But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. (18) And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

7. The person who is genuinely saved will never abandon his faith in Christ.

Hebrews 3:6 - But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

Hebrews 3:14 - For we are made [i.e. have been made] partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end.

In II Samuel 14:25-15:12 we see how Absalom stole the hearts of the people. His life does not indicate that he was ever saved.


His characteristics were those of an unsaved man.

1. He was the third born among David's sons

II Samuel 3:2-3 - 2 And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess; 3 And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite [Chileab is called Daniel in the parallel account in I Chronicles 3:1 He is not mentioned elsewhere in the Bible; so, nothing else is really known about him]; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur.

2. He murdered Amnon

II Samuel 13:28-29 - 28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant. 29 And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.

3. He was unpunished by David

4. He was handsome - 14:25a

II Samuel 14:25 a - But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty. . . .

5. He was unblemished physically - 14:25b

II Samuel 14:25 b - . . . From the sole of his [i.e. of Absalom's] foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.

6. He was proud - 14:26-27

II Samuel 14:26-27 - (26) And when he [i.e. Absalom] polled his head [i.e. cut his hair], (for it was at every year's end that he polled it [i.e. cut it]: because the hair was heavy on him, therefore he polled it [i.e. cut it]:) he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels after the king's weight [i.e. about 5 pounds - Have any of you ever weighed your hair after you had it cut off?]. (27) And unto Absalom there were born three sons, and one daughter, whose name was Tamar [Absalom also had a sister named Tamar - but this Tamar is his daughter]: she was a woman of a fair countenance [i.e. of beautiful appearance].

7. He was self-willed - 14:28-30

II Samuel 14:28-30 - (28) So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the king's face. (29) Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come. (30) Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.

This got Joab's attention. Although Joab had initiated the thought of bringing Absalom back from his exile, my guess is that when Absalom set fire to his barley field, Joab regretted his decision.

8. He was arrogant - 14:31-32a

II Samuel 14:31-32 a - (31) Then Joab arose, and came to Absalom unto his house, and said unto him, Wherefore [i.e. Why] have thy servants set my field on fire? (32) And Absalom answered Joab, Behold, I sent unto thee, saying, Come hither, that I may send thee to the king, to say, Wherefore am I come from Geshur? it had been good for me to have been there still. . . .

9. He was presumptuous - 14:32b

II Samuel 14:32 b - . . . Now therefore let me see the king's face; and if there be any iniquity [i.e. any guilt] in me, let him kill me [How about the murder of his brother Amnon?].

10. He was a hypocrite - 14:33

II Samuel 14:33 - (33) So Joab came to the king, and told him: and when he [i.e. King David] had called for Absalom, he came to the king, and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king: and the king kissed Absalom.

As a result of Absalom's being insubordinate to God -


Note that the same things can happen in a family, in a church, or in an organization.

1. He put on a false front - 15:1

II Samuel 15:1 - (1) And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.

Deuteronomy 17:16 - But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.

Fifty men to run before him was a symbol of royalty. What do you suppose these fifty men who were running before him were doing beside running? They were probably announcing to everyone that Absalom was coming as if he were the king.

2. He built a following through deceit - 15:2-6

II Samuel 15:2-6 - (2) And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. (3) And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed [i.e. there is no representative or deputy] of the king to hear thee. (4) Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

Doesn't it remind you of the way people run for political office today? Doesn't it just make you sick?

3. He insinuated things against David's administration - 15:3

II Samuel 15:3 - And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.

He was insinuating that the king has failed to provide someone to hear your complaint.

4. He insinuated that he could do a better job than David was doing - 15:4

II Samuel 15:4 - Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

5. He insinuated that David had not done justice to the people but that he would - 15:4

II Samuel 15:4 - Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!

6. He showed extreme kindness to some to win them to his side, to make them think that he's not such a bad guy after all - 15:5

II Samuel 15:5 - And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance [i.e. to bow down before him], he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.

Again, doesn't it remind you of some who are currently running for political office?

7. He made them feel that he would treat them right.

II Samuel 15:6 - And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Absalom did what our current presidential candidates are attempting to do. Don't be taken in by all the rhetoric. Ask God to direct you to vote for the candidate of His choosing.


II Samuel 15:7-12 - (7) And it came to pass after forty years [forty years after what? It's not clear. - David only reigned for forty years, but this event happened during David's reign, long before the end of it. Some manuscripts have changed "forty" to read "four," but the Hebrew text plainly says "forty." I do not understand the use of "forty" in this text.], that Absalom said unto the king, I pray thee, let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed unto the Lord, in Hebron. (8) For thy servant vowed a vow while I abode at Geshur in Syria, saying, If the Lord shall bring me again indeed to Jerusalem, then I will serve the Lord. (9) And the king said unto him, Go in peace. So he arose, and went to Hebron. (10) But Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron. (11) And with Absalom went two hundred men out of Jerusalem, that were called [i.e. who were invited]; and they went in their simplicity [i.e. they went along innocently], and they knew not any thing. (12) And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David's counseller, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom.


Insubordination to God's appointed leader results from insubordination to God.

Make sure your heart is satisfied with submission to God. In this process, make certain your heart is satisfied with submission to God's appointed authorities in your life. Absalom knew that for him to become king, he would have to kill his father and many others who would support his father.