Absalom was a handsome man, with a beautiful family, and he longed to be restored to his father, King David. He called on Joab to help him, but Joab would not speak to him for the two years Absalom was in Jerusalem. So Absalom sent his servants to burn Joab’s field. Joab confronted him about the act. Absalom asked him to go to the King to request an audience with him. Joab spoke to David and David called for Absalom, and they were reconciled.
Absalom got himself chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him, and stationed himself at the gate. When people would come to the king for judgement on a case, Absalom would stop and ask about their situation. He would then bemoan the fact that there was no deputy to judge the case and wish that he were appointed a judge so that he could help them. The people began to fall in love with Absalom. This manipulation went on for forty years (some scholars say four years) and then Absalom asked the king to go to Hebron to pay a vow to the Lord. David consented to allow him to go. While he traveled to Hebron, Absalom sent spies among the people and asked them to declare him king when they heard the sound of the trumpet. The number of people involved grew and the conspiracy was strong.
This story shows the narcissism and self-absorption of Absalom, that he would utilize any means necessary to get his desired goal. He used Joab twice to get the king’s favor. Then he manipulated the people, showing himself compassion and available to them in order to garner their favor. He then worked behind the king’s back to effect a coup of sorts against him. This type of manipulation and control is just as evil as the spirit of Jezebel, longing to have power, authority, and control against the will of God. Be sure that God is God, and no matter what devises you employ to be king, God will always be in control, and you may come to ruin (think about this during our elections). We will see the fate of Absalom not many days from now.