2 Samuel 16

Talks for Growing Christians

Absalom Claims the Throne; David Escapes to the Jordan River

2 Samuel 16

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Lesson Number 16

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. God sometimes allows the situation to go from bad to worse.
  2. God always provides the believer with help from behind the scenes.

Practical Application

  1. Can you suffer in silence?


  1. What is David doing as this chapter begins?
  2. Who met David on his way over the Mount of Olives?
  3. Who was Shimei? Were his accusations fair?
  4. How was 2 Samuel 12:11-12 fulfilled?


  1. David wisely decided to leave Jerusalem in the face of Absalom’s rebellion. He knew that if he stayed in Jerusalem and fought, many people would be killed in the civil war.
  2. Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth. Ziba reported that Mephibosheth had stayed behind in Jerusalem in hopes that this civil war would somehow lead to the restoration of Saul’s throne.
  3. Shimei, a relative of Saul, came out and began to curse David as he fled Jerusalem. Shimei’s taunts were unfair, but not without some foundation. David had murdered Uriah, but he had gone the extra mile to show kindness to the house of Saul.
  4. In verses 21-22 we read of Absalom going in to David’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.


  1. David realized that God had allowed Shimei to curse him so that something good might come of it. Read Romans 8:28. Can you give a personal example of things going from bad to worse, where God brought something good out of it?
  2. Discuss the three different ways that God provided help for David:
    1) David received encouragement from the Lord Himself (Psalm 3).
    2) The Lord brought David to a place of refreshment by the Jordan River, where they could regroup.
    3) The Lord provided help through Hushai who was buying time for David by thwarting the counsel of Ahithophel. If you were suffering as David was, which of these means of help would have meant the most to you personally?


  1. David did not retaliate against Shimei’s curses. Like Jesus, David entrusted himself to the Lord who judges righteously (1Peter 2:23). Can you suffer in silence?

Key Verses

  • “It may be that the LORD will look on my affliction, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing this day.” 2 Samuel 16:12
  • “So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the top of the house, and Absalom went in to his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel.” 2 Samuel 16:22

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