Adult Sunday School - Part 12 - Absalom
Adult Sunday School - Part 12 - Absalom - by P.K.Odendaal - September 2012
We have looked previously at Joseph as a type for Jesus Christ, and we find the same type of story repeated in another form with another person named Absalom.
It starts strikingly in the form of Absalom as the son of David. 2 Sa 13:1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David ...
Compare this with : Mark 10:48 And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me.
So they both were sons of David prophetically speaking.
It ends strikingly with both being killed by hanging on a tree. That is enough for us to start to make comparisons. There are of course again differences as a son of mankind cannot completely mimic the story of a son of God.
We therefore start off their histories and immediately come to this further striking resemblance in 2 Sa 13:23 And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons. Here the sons of the king are invited to a feast. The two years stand for two thousand years, just as the two days applicable to Jesus Christ stand for two thousand years. What a co-incidence that Jesus Christ also invited us, as the King's (God's) sons, to a feast - the marriage of the Lamb of God.
Both were sent off to a faraway land. Jesus to die for us and save us - and here is the difference between man's son and God's son : Absalom fled to that far away land, not wishing to face the wrath of his father and after three years he returned.
When he returned, he usually sat beside the way of the gate from early morning and heard what each man's case was. He would then do them justice, by telling them that their case was right, regardless of its merits - a sort of forgiveness for their trespasses. This is an allusion to the forgiveness of our sins by Jesus Christ regardless of its merits : Luk 7:48 And he said unto her, thy sins are forgiven. v:49 And they that sat at meat with him began to say within themselves, who is this that forgiveth sins also? v:50 And he said to the woman, thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.
However, the most direct agreement with the life and times of Jesus Christ, is the portion which relates to the death of Absalom.
Absalom goes into rebellion with the King, and war breaks out between his followers and that of the King. During this war a very important thing happens, attributed to a person called Ahithophel who gave counsel to Absalom. He realised at last that, just like Judas Iscariot giving counsel to the Pharisees, he has failed himself, got himself home to his house and his city, put his household in order and hanged himself. This is not a co-incidence, but a prophecy regarding Judas.
In this war, on the way to meet his death, Absalom rode on a mule, just like Jesus Christ: Joh 12:15 Fear not, daughter of Sion: behold, thy King cometh, sitting on an ass's colt. This ass inadvertently walked underneath an oak try and was hanged, so to speak : 2 Sa.18:9 And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away. v:10 And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. Is this only co-incidence? For sure not.
Absalom is dead and now two messengers are sent to tell the good news to the King. In this case we clearly see the King as a type for God the father - and the King finds himself (in the spirit and prophetically) not here, but at the birth and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. He makes a strange comment, which is repeated quite a few times, about the two messengers he sees running towards him. When something is repeated a few times in scripture, we should take it seriously. It is so important that I quote it fully :
2 Sam.18:25 And the watchman cried, and told the king. And the king said, If he be alone, there is tidings in his mouth. And he came apace, and drew near. v:26 And the watchman saw another man running: and the watchman called unto the porter, and said, Behold another man running alone. And the king said, He also bringeth tidings. v:27 And the watchman said, Me thinketh the running of the foremost is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok. And the king said, He is a good man, and cometh with good tidings. v:28 And Ahimaaz called, and said unto the king, All is well. And he fell down to the earth upon his face before the king, and said, Blessed be the LORD thy God, which hath delivered up the men that lifted up their hand against my lord the king. v:29 And the king said, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Ahimaaz answered, When Joab sent the king's servant, and me thy servant, I saw a great tumult, but I knew not what it was. v:30 And the king said unto him, Turn aside, and stand here. And he turned aside, and stood still. v:31 And, behold, Cushi came; and Cushi said, Tidings, my lord the king: for the LORD hath avenged thee this day of all them that rose up against thee. v:32 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. v:33 And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
Why does King David say that 'he (Ahimaaz) is a good man and comes with good tidings'? The bible says quite clearly that no man is good. I am quite sure that here he refers to the two angels bringing good tidings - one to Zacharias, the father of John the Baptist, Christ's messenger, and one to Mary, Jesus's mother. This we find in:
Luk 1:19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.
Luk 2:10 And the angel said unto them: Fear not, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
When the king hears this news from Ahimaaz, he transfixes himself on the crucifixion with the words: (Use the name of Jesus in the place of Absalom here and you will read the story of the crucifixion of Christ. I have used my poetical license to change the name of Absalom to Jesus) O my son Jesus, my son, my son Jesus! had I as God rather for thee, O Jesus, my son, my son! This is why the Father covered his face - he could not face his son's death anymore - and that is why scripture says in 2 Sam.9:4 But the king covered his face, and the king cried with a loud voice (again I changed the name), O my son Jesus, O Jesus, my son, my son! v:6 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 Jesus had lived, and all we had died this day, then it had pleased thee well. And that is why Jesus Christ cried in Matt 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
Joab here blames David that he is sad that one man died, and that it seems that he would have been glad if his son was still alive, and all the people died. The innuendo here is quite clear and quite the opposite (as an anti-type). David could have said (prophetically): Yes, I would have been, but now my son died so that all the people can live!!! - but still, my son's death broke my heart - and I love my enemies! Here we have the anti-type coming in, because this is the difference between God and man - the type cannot be reflected truly - the one refers to God and the other to man.
We end with the burial of Absalom: 2 Sam.18:17 And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood, and laid a very great heap of stones upon him. Is this not the same as burying Jesus in a tomb, and rolling a stone to cover it? Can you remember the pit they threw the body of Joseph in? The theme stays the same.
And this is why I believe God and the scripture fully.
If all these stories are so perfectly tailored to prophesy the life and times of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament, more than a thousand years before his time, who shall not believe?
I will return, very much later in this series, to another similar story in the New Testament, which we often cannot understand in its context - the story of Philemon.