Traitors, Friends and Regrets

The end of Absalom is getting closer… notice the correct advice of Ahithophel (2 Samuel 17:1-4), he urges Absalom to attack David’s troops immediately while David is still weary and weak. Then came the crafty advice of Hushai (2 Samuel 17:5-14, 23). He advises that the attack be delayed until a large number of soldiers throughout the land can be assembled, and then Absalom himself should lead them into battle (2 Samuel 17:11). Hushai’s plan is accepted, causing Ahithophel to go home and hang himself. This leads us to the main chapter for today.

  1. Why did David want to go into battle? (2 Samuel 18:2, 5)
  2. How has David benefitted from the delay in Absalom’s attack? (2 Samuel 18:1-2)
  3. Why didn’t Joab and the people want him to go into battle? (2 Samuel 18:3)
  4. What are David’s specific instructions to Joab? (2 Samuel 18:5)
  5. What do you make of the reoccurring phrase, “the young man, Absalom?” (2 Samuel 18:5, 12, 29, 32), perhaps the youthful rebel could still be forgiven.
  6. How do you think this sounded to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai? (2 Samuel 18:5)
  7. With all the betrayal going on, why does David trust these three generals? (2 Samuel 18:5)
  8. How did Absalom die? (2 Samuel 18:9, 14, 15)
  9. What irony do you see in Absalom’s getting hung up? (2 Samuel 18:9, 14:24, 25)
  10. How does the man reporting to Joab respond to Joab’s rebuke? (2 Samuel 18:11, 12, 13)
  11. What do you make of Joab disobeying King David’s order? (2 Samuel 18:5, 12)
  12. What does Joab’s treatment of Absalom reveal about him? (2 Samuel 18:14)
  13. What do they do with Absalom’s body (2 Samuel 18:17, 18) Notice the irony; a heap of stones and a monument to himself (similar to 1 Samuel 15:12). His death as a traitor remains far more memorable than his self-absorbed life. (Deuteronomy 21:20, 21, Joshua 7:26, 8:29)
  14. Why did Ahimaaz want to run back to David, and persist in his request? (2 Samuel 18:19, 22, 23)
  15. What did Joab fear if the truth be known? (2 Samuel 18:21, 31, 32), perhaps killing the Cushite was better than killing one of his soldiers.
  16. Why did Ahimaaz lie when he was in front of the king? (2 Samuel 18:29, 20, 29)
  17. What did David have on his mind when the got the word that they had won the war? (2 Samuel 18:24, 25, 26)
  18. Why is David so preoccupied with Absalom’s safety more than his own? (2 Samuel 18:29)
  19. Why did Ahimaaz waffle in his answer after being so eager about running to tell the king? (2 Samuel 18:28, 29)
  20. Why didn’t the Cushite just say, “Absalom is dead”? (2 Samuel 18:31, 32)
  21. How did David celebrate the victory? (2 Samuel 18:33) But David should have cried these tears long ago, intervening after the rape of his daughter.
  22. This section sends a chill up the spine of any parent. Death would be easier than a life without our children.
  23. How does David feel after Joab’s rebuke? (2 Samuel 19:5, 6, 7) Was Joab right in doing so?

Here are a few life application questions:

  1. Why do you believe that our King is worth ten thousand of us? (2 Samuel 18:3)
  2. These men were pawns in the hands of King David, what will you do tangibly to demonstrate your belief that Jesus is absolutely worthy of our sacrifice?
  3. What news or information or sin are you hiding from the King? What will bring this hidden truth into the light?
  4. From what enemies has God delivered you? Like David, what has preoccupied your mind from the reality of your current situation? What role does your faith and this small group play in your victory?
  5. Think back over this long story. How could David have avoided this eventuality?
  6. What regrets do you think David had at this point?
  7. What is the lesson of this story for our lives? What break in relationship is happening in your family right now? Act quickly to make reconciliation, before it all spirals out of control.