God-Hearted #27 — 2 Samuel 15 — If Christ Inspires You, You’ll Follow Him Anywhere


  • This next episode in David’s life has always moved me.
    • David inspires again; his true self is revealed.
      • And what was seen, inspired, and led to devotion.
    • David’s true friends are revealed.
      • Theme: Let Christ inspire you and you’ll follow him anywhere.

The Backdrop: A Battle For Supremacy (15:1-12)

1 After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 2 And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” 3 Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” 4 Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” 5 And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

7 And at the end of four years Absalom said to the king, “Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron. 8 For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, ‘If the LORD will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to the LORD.’ ” 9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he arose and went to Hebron. 10 But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, ‘Absalom is king at Hebron!’ ” 11 With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. 12 And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing.

1 His Hope: Our Lord, In His Time Of Despair, Had Great Hope (15:13-17)

13 And a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel have gone after Absalom.” 14 Then David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or else there will be no escape for us from Absalom. Go quickly, lest he overtake us quickly and bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” 15 And the king’s servants said to the king, “Behold, your servants are ready to do whatever my lord the king decides.” [not everyone was with Absalom] 16 So the king went out, and all his household after him. And the king left ten concubines to keep the house. 17 And the king went out, and all the people after him. And they halted at the last house.

  • 14 / 17 Let us flee / the king went out:
    • David, with his servants, vacated Jerusalem. Why?
      • 14 No escape for us from Absalom: David knew it would come down to a fight between him and Absalom, which he could not stomach.
        • He spared himself.
      • 14 Bring down ruin on us and strike the city with the edge of the sword: David knew Absalom might destroy Jerusalem, God’s city.
        • He spared God’s city.
    • This is a low point in David’s life, but he hoped in God.
      • Psalm 3 (NLT) — A psalm of David, regarding the time David fled from his son Absalom. 1 O LORD, I have so many enemies; so many are against me. 2 So many are saying, “God will never rescue him!” Interlude 3 But you, O LORD, are a shield around me; you are my glory, the one who holds my head high. 4 I cried out to the LORD, and he answered me from his holy mountain. Interlude 5 I lay down and slept, yet I woke up in safety, for the LORD was watching over me. 6 I am not afraid of ten thousand enemies who surround me on every side. 7 Arise, O LORD! Rescue me, my God! Slap all my enemies in the face! Shatter the teeth of the wicked! 8 Victory comes from you, O LORD. May you bless your people. Interlude

  • Our Lord, in his time of despair, had great hope.
    • During his despair, Jesus had greater hope than David.
      • Psalm 22:1 (ESV) — 1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
        • Jesus’ cry of dereliction.
        • But followed by:
          • I thirst.
          • It is finished!
          • Father, into your hands I commit my Spirit.
            • Confidence.
      • Psalm 22:31 (ESV) — 31 they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it.
        • “A people yet unborn” was Jesus’ vision.

2 His Cross: Our Lord Is Hard To Follow, But The Only One Worth Following (15:18-22)

18 And all his servants passed by him, and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the six hundred Gittites who had followed him from Gath [Philistines!], passed on before the king. 19 Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home. 20 You came only yesterday [likely, a short while ago], and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go I know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the LORD show steadfast love and faithfulness to you.” 21 But Ittai answered the king, “As the LORD lives, and as my lord the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.” 22 And David said to Ittai, “Go then, pass on.” So Ittai the Gittite passed on with all his men and all the little ones who were with him.

  • 20 Wander / I go I know not where? Go back: David’s concern for Ittai and his men was beautiful. He knew the journey could be treacherous.
  • 21 Ittai answered / Wherever my lord the king shall be / there also will be your servant: Ittai would not leave David’s side. He had seen David’s beauty and could not forget it. He and his band of warriors would follow David, though they paid a unique price.

  • Our Lord (like David here) is hard to follow, but the only one worth following.
    • Example — Luke 9:57–62 (ESV) — 57 As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” 58 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” 59 To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” 60 And Jesus said to him, “Leave the dead to bury their own dead. But as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” 61 Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” 62 Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
    • But he is beautiful. We must follow.
      • John 6:68 (ESV) — 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life…
      • Mark 8:34 (ESV) — 34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
    • If you follow Christ when it is difficult to do so, blessings on you.
      • Professions/careers.
      • Family members.
      • Social environments.

3 His Submission: Our Lord Simultaneously Submitted To And Fought For The Will Of God (15:23-29)

23 And all the land wept aloud as all the people passed by, and the king crossed the brook Kidron, and all the people passed on toward the wilderness. 24 And Abiathar came up, and behold, Zadok came also with all the Levites, bearing the ark of the covenant of God. And they set down the ark of God until the people had all passed out of the city. 25 Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place. 26 But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.” 27 The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Go back to the city in peace, with your two sons, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar. 28 See, I will wait at the fords of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” 29 So Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem, and they remained there.

  • 25 If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back: Submission.
  • 28 Inform me: Fight.

  • Our Lord simultaneously submitted to and fought for the will of God.
    • Hebrews 12:2 (ESV) — 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

4 His Mission: Our Lord Commissions His Servants To Subvert The Imposter’s Kingdom (15:30-37)

30 But David went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered. And all the people who were with him covered their heads, and they went up, weeping as they went. 31 And it was told David, “Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom.” And David said, “O LORD, please turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.” 32 While David was coming to the summit, where God was worshiped, behold, Hushai the Archite came to meet him with his coat torn and dirt on his head. 33 David said to him, “If you go on with me, you will be a burden to me. 34 But if you return to the city and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I have been your father’s servant in time past, so now I will be your servant,’ then you will defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel. 35 Are not Zadok and Abiathar the priests with you there? So whatever you hear from the king’s house, tell it to Zadok and Abiathar the priests. 36 Behold, their two sons are with them there, Ahimaaz, Zadok’s son, and Jonathan, Abiathar’s son, and by them you shall send to me everything you hear.” 37 So Hushai, David’s friend, came into the city, just as Absalom was entering Jerusalem.

  • 34 / 35 Defeat for me the counsel of Ahithophel / Zadok / Abiathar / Ahimaaz / Jonathan: David invited his men into subversive subterfuge.

  • Our Lord commissions his servants to subvert the imposter’s kingdom.
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:11–12 (ESV) — 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
    • Romans 12:17 (ESV) — 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all.
    • Titus 2:8–10 (ESV) — 8 and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us. 9 Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, 10 not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior.
    • 1 Peter 2:12 (ESV) — 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.
    • 1 Peter 2:15 (ESV) — 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
    • Colossians 4:5–6 (ESV) — 5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
    • I know many of you, when it comes to education and employment, are focused more on survival than subversion.
      • Life is difficult, and making it these days can be tough.
      • But perhaps you need vision for the kingdom expansion Christ wills to work through YOU!
      • A client to impact…
      • A student to shape…
      • A property to improve…
      • A good to deliver…
      • A child to shoot out…


  • Absalom backdrop: Our Lord is in a battle for supremacy.
    • 1 In humanity.
      • Humanity follows (Ephesians 2:1-3):
        • The course of this world.
        • The prince of the power of the air, the spirit now at work in the sons of disobedience.
        • The passions of our flesh.
    • 2 In the church.
      • He should be first in the church.
        • Colossians 1:18 (ESV) — 18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.
    • 3 Over you.
      • The way of Christ calls.