Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lesson - "O Absalom, My Son, My Son!"

VERSES:   2 Samuel 18:1-19:8

MEMORY VERSE:   2 Samuel 18:33   "...Oh, my son, Absalom!..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Review the Bible books from Genesis to 2 Samuel.

PRAYER:  Let us thank God for His rich blessings and His providing for us.

SPECIAL SONG:   This Little Light Of Mine   (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog)

VISUAL AID:   A Large Activity (see below)

  • Getting ready for battle with Absalom and his army, King David numbered the people, then divided them into three divisions. He set three captains over them:  Joab, Abishai, and Ittai. David had planned to go into battle against Absalom's army, too, but the people would not let him go. They said that he was worth 10,000 men, so David did as the people wished and did not fight. As his three captains left for battle, he commanded them to be gentle with Absalom and everyone heard King David's words to the captains.
  • The battle took place in a forest which was unusual. Many people were killed by the servants of David and 20,000 died. The Bible says that the trees of the forest killed more than the sword killed.
  • Absalom met some servants of David while he was riding on a mule through the forest. As he was riding, the mule went under the thick branches of an oak tree and Absalom's hair got caught in the branches. The mule kept going and there was Absalom suspended in the tree, caught by his own thick hair. Someone saw Absalom hanging in the oak tree, trying to get out and went and told Joab. When Joab heard it, he asked the man why he had not killed Absalom because he would have given him ten pieces of silver. The man said that he would not have killed Absalom for 1,000 pieces of silver because Absalom was the king's son.and he had heard King David say to be gentle with Absalom. So, Joab went and found the oak tree and also found Absalom still suspended in the air with his hair caught in the tree. Joab killed Absalom with three darts and Absalom died. Joab blew the trumpet, signaling to everyone that the battle was over. Joab sent a runner to tell King David that Absalom had died and the battle was over. 
  • When David heard the news that Absalom had died, he was very, very, very sad and went and cried in a room over the gate. As he went, he cried, "O, my son Absalom, my son, my son! If God would have permitted, I would have died in your place! O Absalom, my son, my son!"
  • That day of winning the battle over Absalom's army turned into a day of grief and mourning instead of celebration and victory. David was filled with grief . The people were quiet as they went in the city. All of the people went to their own tents. There was no victory. The king covered his head and cried in a loud voice, "O Absalom, my son, my son!"  Even as wicked as Absalom was, his father loved him.
  • Then Joab went to where the king was staying and gave King David good advice. He told the king that he had shamed all the people that fought for him that day, and had even saved his life and his families' lives. He said that it seemed that if Absalom had lived, and they all had died, then it would have pleased David. Joab said some hard words to the king, but Joab was always loyal and looked after David. He told David to get up and talk nicely to his servants because, if he did not, he would not have any servants by morning and it would be worse in the morning that it had ever been in his life. So, King David listened to Joab and went to sit at the gate. Soon, everyone knew that King David was sitting in the gate and went to stand beside him.
"Older Student" Points:
  • King David was a man of war, a valiant soldier, and knew how to fight. He numbered his people and divided them into thirds. This is a military tactic that is still done today.
  • Fighting a battle in a forest must have been a difficult.  Not used to the trees, the people could not fight like they usually did in a valley or on a  plain. Perhaps that was the reason that so many people were killed. What does that mean in 2 Samuel 18:8 when it says "and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured?" 
  • Joab was a loyal friend to David and always had his best interest at heart, even if it meant killing his beloved son who was rebelling against him.
ACTIVITY:   Absalom In A Tree
Materials needed:   12" x 18" dark brown construction paper, 5" x 7" tan construction paper, 9" x 12" green construction paper, scrap of yellow paper, tape, scissors, marker, crayons.

  1. Hand out brown paper.
  2. Roll brown paper, twist, and crumple. This is the branch of the oak tree,
  3. Hand out green paper.
  4. Cut oak leaves from green paper. Fold down the middle for a 3-d look.
  5. Tape leaves on branch.
  6. Hand out tan paper.
  7. Draw Absalom with his hands in the air and no hair.
  8. Color and cut out Absalom.
  9. Cut hair out of yellow paper, making sure the hair is sticking up in the air. Cutting it like grass works.
  10. Tape hair on Absalom.
  11. Tape Absalom on branch by the hair.
  12. Write "Absalom, my son, my son!" and "2 Samuel 18:33" on a yellow scrap of paper.
  13. Tape words onto branch, too.