2 Samuel 14:25-33
25 In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him. 26 Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard. 27 Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she became a beautiful woman. 28 Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab in order to send him to the king, but Joab refused to come to him. So he sent a second time, but he refused to come. 30 Then he said to his servants, “Look, Joab’s field is next to mine, and he has barley there. Go and set it on fire.” So Absalom’s servants set the field on fire. 31 Then Joab did go to Absalom’s house, and he said to him, “Why have your servants set my field on fire?” 32 Absalom said to Joab, “Look, I sent word to you and said, ‘Come here so I can send you to the king to ask, “Why have I come from Geshur? It would be better for me if I were still there!”’ Now then, I want to see the king’s face, and if I am guilty of anything, let him put me to death.” 33 So Joab went to the king and told him this. Then the king summoned Absalom, and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom.
Gosh talk about a soap opera. Have you been keeping up with what has been going on in David’s family? But this is the day forgiveness comes into the story.
Absalom stood up to Amnon to protect the honour of his sister but that meant he had to leave town and hide away from his dad. But it looks like he found a wife and had some wonderful children. Still he was angry that he had to flee and, even now, a few years later, he had ventured back to Jerusalem, but he was still excluded from everything that involved his family.
He then took fairly drastic action (burning the fields of Joab) to get Joab’s attention who had been ignoring him – he was really on the outer!! He really wanted Joab to help him speak to the king.
While I don’t think setting fields alight is to be encouraged, this story paints a picture of persistence. Absalom wanted to sort out this issue with David. He kept trying to get David’s attention in all the ways he knew how. He got someone who had the ear of the king to intercede on his behalf. He appealed to Joab to get his sympathy so that he would take his story to David. He acknowledged that there was a wrong that needed to be discussed and that it might end badly for him – that David had control of the situation and how it would work out.
Relationship was important to Absalom and he kept going until he got the opportunity to rebuild it.
Dear Lord thank you for painting a picture of forgiveness and persistence. Thank you for reminding us that relationships are worth fighting for even when it is hard and no one wants to listen to our side. Help us to be creative in our difficult situations – to come up with ideas about how to rebuild relationship, to ask for forgiveness and to receive it. Thanks Amen
Written by Therese Manning