Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window)
1. When you want to mask your true identity and show up somewhere “incognito”, what do you do?
- wear a wig, costume or make-up
- carry a fake ID
- spin a few tales about your past
- create a double to stand in for you
2. In relation to Question #1, when have you done this before? With what success?
3. What is the longest your hair has ever been? For what reason were you growing it long?
4. What is the longest you have been alientated from your parents or children? How did you (or they) finally break the silence: call? write? show up for the holidays?
5. Is Joab acting here in the best interests of Absalom, David or himself? Why do you think so?
6. Why hadn’t David done anything about Absalom’s banishment?
- he wasn’t sure what to do
- he liked others to take initiative
- he was torn between love and anger
- he acts of adultery and murder had cost him credibility to exert discipline
- Absalom deserved to die for murdering his brother
7. How does the woman’s fabricated story relate to David and Absalom? How do you feel about Joab’s scheme, and about David’s decision to bring back Absalom?
8. What aspects of the woman’s clever story appeal to David?
- the law which seeks to perpetuate a family name through descendants (see Deuteronomy 25:5, 6)
- the law which permits blood revenge (see Numbers 35:19 – 21)
- the clans’ motives were more selfish than just
- murder “without malice aforethought” is not punishable by death (see Deuteronomy 19:4 – 6)
9. In verses 13 – 17, what aspects of God’s truth does she accurately portray? Which biblical teaching does she distort to affect Absalom’s safe return? Once David exposes the true source of her story as being Joab (verses 18 – 20), why does he still agree to bring back Absalom?
10. Why did David refuse to see Absalom when he came back?
- he was still too angry
- he was still too hurt
- he couldn’t look him in the eye
- he wasn’t able to forgive him
- Absalom had not sought forgiveness
11. What kind of person is Absalom?
12. What TV or movie star would you cast in the role of this handsome dude Absalom (verses 25, 26)?
13. What’s significant about Absalom naming his daughter Tamar (verse 7; see chapter 13:1)?
14. What kind of person would treat Joab the way Absalom does in verses 28 – 32? What kind of king would react as David does in verse 33? What do you find wrong or right with David forgiving Absalom so easily?
15. How do you feel about the way the story ends?
- David is forgiving as he should be
- David ignored justice
- Absalom had to come begging
- Absalom never did repent
- true reconciliation occurred
- only appearances changed
16. How do you usually respond when you are alienated form another person? Or from God? What corrective measures does this story suggest you take for restoration?
17. In your desire to see a significant relationship restored do you identity more with David or Absalom? Specifically, how does this story relate to your situation?
- I have very mixed feelings
- My heart longs for reconciliation but I’m not sure how to go about it
- Thinking of facing the other person give me cold sweats
- I’m struggling to be patient
- We’re both waiting for the other
- We need a “Joab” to help us
- I want real reconciliation, not just surface reconciliation
18. If you are a parent, how much do you identify with David’s feelings about relating to a child who has hurt you? Do you understand the longing? The mixed feelings? The hesitancy? The need for a mediator?
19. How does physical appearances affect your acceptance of others? Or your acceptance of yourself? How might that acceptance level change if you found your self-confidence exclusively in God?
20. How desperate are you these days to get authorities to look favorably upon whatever plight you may be in?
- desperate enough to stretch God’s truth to your own defense
- to pull hear-strings with a sob story
- to burn someone else’s fields or bridges behind you
- to request prayer from others