All the king’s sons arose, and each mounted his mule and fled. 2 Samuel 13:29
Why did they do that? Because they thought they were next. Amnon was the king’s oldest son. Absalom had his eye on the throne. We know that from what happened later in the story.
One way to make sure that Absalom would get the throne was to get rid of his brothers. Amnon was the first, and the others were quite sure that they were next. That’s why they fled.
You see what has happened here. There has been a terrible evil in the family. Absalom is determined to take revenge. He also sees an opportunity. Revenge on Amnon will bring him one step nearer to the throne. Absalom is the third son. When the oldest son dies, Absalom moves up one place! The rest of the king’s sons realize what’s going on, so they flee for their lives.
This leaves Absalom alienated from the king. David eventually invited Absalom back to Jerusalem, but it was a big mistake because what happened was never dealt with.
After he returned, Absalom began to build popular support, and eventually he staged an uprising against his father. David was forced to retreat from his home in Jerusalem, and what followed was a civil war between those who were loyal to David and those who were loyal to Absalom.
In the end, the rebellion failed, and Absalom was killed in battle. David was brokenhearted. “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son” (18:33). You cannot help but feel sorry for David at this point. His daughter had been abused, two of his sons were dead, and his whole kingdom was divided.
Sin always causes alienation. Where do you see this most clearly in your own life?