There are five main stories in Samuel and Kings that have to do with incorrigible children. The first two have to do with Eli and Samuel. The third has to do with Amnon who raped his half-sister Tamar. In that case, David said nothing to his son. The fourth is Absalom. When he murdered his brother Amnon, David said nothing. Now, Absalom is rebelling against his father and seeking a coup to take his throne.
This is a huge sin.
Note that even though David was the anointed successor to Saul, he still would not raise his hand against Saul. This despite the fact that Saul was trying to kill him. When at the end of the battle with the Amalekites, Saul is killed, David kills his murderer.
And yet, David is more than tolerating rebellion against God’s anointed from his own son.
This is the longest of the “son” stories, but is not the last one. The final one involves Adonijah, who attempts to take over the throne in David’s old age.
There are similarities between all five stories, threads that hold them all together. The story begin in chapter fifteen spends a lot of time on Absalom’s rebellion, but the underlying theme is that despite the obvious support David has in the empire, this giant slayer of a warrior will not take a stand against his own children, and will not correct them.
The message, which we will revisit early in 1 Kings, is that God expects His people to know His word, obey the word, model that word, teach that word to others, and encourage those taught to live it. This is the work of all God’s people, but especially the King and any leader.