Thursday 24 November, 2016

2 Samuel 14:25-33

25 Now Absalom was praised as the most handsome man in all Israel. He was flawless from head to foot. 26 He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was so heavy. When he weighed it out, it came to five pounds![a] 27 He had three sons and one daughter. His daughter’s name was Tamar, and she was very beautiful. 28 Absalom lived in Jerusalem for two years, but he never got to see the king. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to ask him to intercede for him, but Joab refused to come. Absalom sent for him a second time, but again Joab refused to come. 30 So Absalom said to his servants, “Go and set fire to Joab’s barley field, the field next to mine.” So they set his field on fire, as Absalom had commanded. 31 Then Joab came to Absalom at his house and demanded, “Why did your servants set my field on fire?” 32 And Absalom replied, “Because I wanted you to ask the king why he brought me back from Geshur if he didn’t intend to see me. I might as well have stayed there. Let me see the king; if he finds me guilty of anything, then let him kill me.” 33 So Joab told the king what Absalom had said. Then at last David summoned Absalom, who came and bowed low before the king, and the king kissed him.

This is one way to get someone’s attention, though not one that I would recommend.

I imagine that Joab simply didn’t want to get involved in a family dispute. It’s too messy, or perhaps he didn’t want to be seen taking sides. Maybe he feared what David would do to him if he mentioned Absalom’s name. Would David get angry or depressed? We don’t know.

But there have been times when I didn’t want to get involved, because it was too messy or I didn’t want to take sides or some other reason, and the issue drags on far longer than it needed to.

I wish I had taken the risk and been a true friend, or even the brother I should have been. That’s what love does, it takes risks. The risk is being taken the wrong way or misunderstood. The reward? For Joab he would have kept his harvest.

Jesus loved us and took the ultimate risk. He was misunderstood and rejected. He knew that would happen yet he did it anyway, this is true love.

Jesus, I want to love others as you loved me, unconditionally and without fear of rejection. Thank you for loving me and showing me how to love others.

Written by Andrew Martin

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