Tag: Absalom

Recognizing Usurper 1of2

Absalom Usurps Throne of Israel

Two essential and independent selections are needed to confer rulership authority on a person: a selection by God followed by selection by the people without knowing God’s choice. A person that circumvents one or both selections to become ruler is a usurper. It is easy to recognize a case of circumventing the people’s authority but more difficult to recognize a case of circumventing the authority of God. We begin a three-part study focused on understanding usurpers based on characteristics described in the bible, to potentially learn how to recognize them. The current study examines the usurpation of the throne of Israel by Absalom—to understand that one or both components of rulership authority can be circumvented and identify some characteristic features of a usurper. Absalom became king over Israel (albeit for a short period) with neither the authority of God nor the authority of the people.

David flees from Jerusalem
David flees from Jerusalem in fear of Absalom Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

We resume our study series on The King and the People, which focuses on understanding God’s purpose for people-versus-government relationships. Based on biblical information regarding people-versus-government interactions in Israel during the periods of King Saul, David, Solomon, and others; the series seeks to contribute toward reducing the apparent gap in expectations between people and governments in the modern world. What should governments expect of the people and what should the people expect of their government? The bible often provides answers to such questions in enough details to guide everyday interactions among government leaders and recipients of government leadership.

Prince Absalom pretends to be king
Prince Absalom pretends to be king
Sweet Publishing FreeBibleImages.org

We realized while studying David that his life as King in Waiting offers a wealth of information deserving examination in a different focus. Therefore, the series branched off awhile to study David as King in Waiting with a different focus, through a series on Waiting for God’s Time and another on Following God’s Schedule. To resume our study of David’s period as king of Israel with focus on the objectives of The King and the People series, we begin a three-part miniseries on Usurper—to understand that a person could usurp the authority of government, i.e., become a ruler without the authority of God or authority of the people. The study will examine the characteristics of known usurpers described in the bible to potentially learn how to recognize them. Also, we will examine an example in opposing a usurper to understand such opposition could be successful but requires adherence to due process.

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David Copes with Ambivalence Regarding Death of Absalom

Glad but Sad


Ambivalence describes a situation in which the outcome of an event has both positive and negative implications for a person. You are happy with the positive but sad with the negative. If another person has labored or sacrificed for the event in order to provide the positive outcome, then it is important your sadness does not convey a message of regret or blame to the person. This bible study focuses on an example of ambivalence when David’s army put down a rebellion led by his son Absalom but the son was killed in the battle.

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Absalom Rises Against His Father David

Dealing with Adversity: Example from David


King David was faced with adversity in the form of a rebellion against him led by his son Absalom. David’s third son Absalom cultivated reputation among Israeli men as a future king to replace his father. He was successful and support for him grew rapidly. To take advantage, he declared himself king and, because of the strength of his support, David and his people ran from Jerusalem in fear of him and his supporters.

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