Absalom is dead
2 Samuel 18:33 – Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: O my son Absalom-my son, my son Absalom – if only I had died in your place! Absalom my son, my son!”
David is in tremendous grief. It’s as if someone has locked him in a dark dungeon and he can’t lift himself out, when all of a sudden a friend shows up.
2 Samuel 19:1 – And Joab was told, “Behold, the king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.”
The people saw Absalom’s death as deliverance, so now David could get back to the throne. But David was too absorbed in his grief to even care, he was paralyzed with sorrow.
Even though Absalom had murdered his half-brother, took David’s wives on the roof of the palace, and over threw the throne, he was still David’s son, whom he loved deeply. Joab comes on the scene.
2 Samuel 19:4-7 – But the king covered his face and the king cried out with a loud voice, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!” (Verse 5) Then Joab came into the house to the king, and said, “Today you have disgraced all your servants who today have saved your life, the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines, (Verse 6) in that you love your enemies and hate your friends. For you have declared today that you regard neither princes nor servants; for today I receive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today than it would have pleased you well.” (Verse 7)”Now therefore, arise, go out, and speak comfort to your servants. For I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out, not one will stay with you this night. And that will be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now.”
Does this sound like a friend? Yes. Joab told David the truth! He told him he was acting as if he would rather have all of them die instead of Absalom. The people didn’t feel the same way about Absalom that David did. They were glad David would take the throne back, but if David stayed in his room and continued to ignore them, they would all desert him. So David takes Joab’s advice, as hard as it was to do.
2 Samuel 19:8 – So the king arose and sat at the gate. When they told all the people saying, “Behold, the king is sitting in the gate,” then all the people came before the king…
Remember, the city gate was where the king or the leaders would sit and give judgments, counsel, and meet with the people. Sometimes, even when we don’t feel like it we have to get back to responsibilities after a tragedy.
Here’s the truth about friendships. Friendships are where we find the ministering hands of God. Encouraging, giving, and supporting, will be their characteristics.
Friends are not optional; they’re essential. There is no substitute for a devoted friend who will stick by you when hardships come. However, we have to cultivate a friendship. “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly” (Proverbs 18:24).
Friendships will impact our lives, good or bad. True friends will encourage us to become a better person. If some of our friend’s have bad disreputable lives then they will lead us into dysfunction. “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Check out which kinds of friends are in your life.
- Acquaintances – people we see often to greet, “How are you doing?” “Fine (really not fine, but I don’t know you well enough to dump on you, or how you would react). I have one of the best jobs I think anyone could have because I get to listen to people who have no one else in their lives who actually listen to them. I’m still amazed how I can just meet someone and they share their history of their life with me. I listen.
- Casual friends – friends we see more often; people we have common interests in but still there’s a distance between.
- Close friends – we talk to these friends more often for opinions, maybe even go places together.
- Intimate friends – these are people we have a deep commitment to. We are open and vulnerable with. We are totally honest with; we take counsel with; we tell our worries to, who won’t change their opinion about us. We all need a friend like that. If we are really blessed, we might have two or even three friends who fit in this category.
Thankfully, God had placed several friends, including Joab, in David’s life that truly cared about him, enough to be honest with him.
If you don’t have an intimate friend that always has your back, who will tell you the truth; who will always be there for you, then ask God to send you one. However, in the meantime, Christ will and does “stick closer than a brother to you!”
Christ had many followers. He had twelve close friends, but He had three intimate friends, including Peter.