Applications from 2 Samuel 19
|(King David weeps over Absalom.)|
Absalom sought counsel and then determined he would to fight against his father, and slay him. After King David crossed the Jordan river and entered a fortified city, Absalom, accompanied by thousands of armed men, crossed the river and attacked David's men in a forested region.
The battle went poorly for Absalom and his men, and most of them were slaughtered or died due to falling into deep pits or chasms. Absalom, who had long hair, rode past an oak tree and his hair was ensnared in its branches. His mount, a mule, left him literally hanging. Joab, the captain of David's army, saw the king's son hanging in the tree and unable to escape. Ignoring David's orders not to kill Absalom, Joab brutally killed him in cold blood and Joab's armor bearers finished him off. It was not the first time Joab disregarded the king's wishes.
Joab was an evil man
At a time when King David only reigned over the tribe of Judah, Abner, the captain of King Saul's army, agreed to turn all the tribes of Israel over to David so that David could rule as the king over them all, just as God had promised him.
But, Joab remembered that Abner had killed his brother Asahel, in self-defense, when Asahel had been seeking to kill Abner during a battle between Israel and Judah. Joab had then tricked Abner into having a meeting where Joab stabbed him to death. He didn't forgive Abner, who did not want to kill Asahel. Abner had even told Asahel to stop pursuing him because he had not wanted to have to kill him in self-defense.
Years later, Joab disobeyed David's orders to not kill Absalom. Then, worse still, after he found that David had promoted a man named Amasa to be captain of the hosts (armies) of Israel (2 Sam. 19:13), Joab drew his sword and killed Amasa as he pretended to greet him (2 Sam. 20:10). Amasa's guard was down, and he was killed in cold blood. Joab left his body on the road and continued on as if nothing had happened.
Joab manipulated David
Returning to the battle between Absalom's men and David's men, messengers brought word of Absalom's death to King David. After hearing the sad news, David wept and mourned the loss of his son. It is amazing that even though Absalom, his son, had sought to kill David and take full control of Israel, David still loved him.
As word of the king's grief spread through the ranks of David's victorious soldiers, the men began to feel guilty for feeling jubilant when their king was weeping. Then, Joab, offended at David's grief, spoke to him in a very deceptive and manipulative way. Using fear as a weapon, Joab manipulated the king to speak encouraging words to the people and to stop weeping over his son's death.
As I read this chapter, what stood out to me was how Joab spoke in a way that almost forced David to ignore his grief and to pretend as if he had no feelings about Absalom's death. Why I bring this out is that the devil often attacks us in the same way that Joab spoke to King David. Feel free to read the verses below and see if you can spot the demonic influence behind Joab's manipulative words.
2 Samuel 19:4-7
" But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice, O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!
 And Joab came into the house to the king, and said, Thou hast shamed this day the faces of all thy servants, which this day have saved thy life, and the lives of thy sons and of thy daughters, and the lives of thy wives, and the lives of thy concubines;  In that thou lovest thine enemies, and hatest thy friends. For thou hast declared this day, that thou regardest neither princes nor servants: for this day I perceive, that if Absalom had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well.
 Now therefore arise, go forth, and speak comfortably unto thy servants: for I swear by the LORD, if thou go not forth, there will not tarry one with thee this night: and that will be worse unto thee than all the evil that befell thee from thy youth until now." [End quote]
In verse 5, Joab exaggerated the number of people who have been "shamed" by David's weeping. Joab spoke about how he and David's men had saved the lives of David and his large family. But, it was God who fought for David. (See Psalm 18.) Joab's speech is an example of peer pressure.
In verse 6, Joab falsely accused David of "loving" his enemies and "hating" his friends (by his weeping for Absalom). He also falsely accused David of being pleased if Absalom had lived and all David's men had died. This is an example of how the devil uses false accusation to produce false guilt and false condemnation.
In verse 7, Joab threatens David, saying that not one of his men will be loyal to David if David didn't do what Joab wanted him to do that same night. Joab said that such an event would be worse than anything that had befallen David his entire life since his youth. This is an example of pressuring someone through fear and being motivated by fear.
The devil attacks us in a similar way to how Joab treated David. He uses peer pressure to get us to conform to the nature, interests, clothing, and habits of people around us.
The devil tries to manipulate us
The devil also tries to manipulate us by making us feel false guilt if we don't do something that the devil wants us to do. If you struggle with performing for God's love, know that God doesn't want you to perform. But, the devil may attack you and say something like this lie: "You forgot to pray for your prayer list today. God will not love you if you forget to do that." This is simply not true. God loves us with agape love no matter what we do or don't do. But, following sin will keep us from receiving God's love and fellowship.
Read the book of Galatians to understand more about God's grace. Galatians 3 is a good chapter to look at.
Finally, another stratagem of the devil is to motivate by fear. The devil wants us to be afraid of something bad happening to us, so that we will not totally trust God, and so that we will not believe that Abba Father God really loves us just as much as He loves Jesus Christ, His Only Begotten Son.
God's love frees us from fear
But, Jesus Christ said this truth to His Father in John 17:23: "I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."
Jesus said that God the Father loves the people He created with benevolent love just as much as He loves Jesus with benevolent love.* As we receive God's love, by a simple choice to believe, fear is cast out of us.
1 John 4:15-19 says:
" Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
17. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19. We love him, because he first loved us."
➠ ➠ If you would like to know Abba God the Father and Jesus Christ (God the Son), and be saved from sin, click here to read more.
[* The only people God cannot love are those who have hardened themselves so much against God that they will never turn to God. Regarding Israel's conquest of Caanan, I encourage you to research the nephilim or giants and Genesis 6.]