Friday 25 November, 2016

2 Samuel 15:1-12

15 After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he hired fifty bodyguards to run ahead of him. 2 He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where in Israel they were from, and they would tell him their tribe. 3 Then Absalom would say, “You’ve really got a strong case here! It’s too bad the king doesn’t have anyone to hear it. 4 I wish I were the judge. Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgment, and I would give them justice!” 5 When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn’t let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them. 6 Absalom did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and so he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel. 7 After four years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the Lord and fulfill a vow I made to him. 8 For while your servant was at Geshur in Aram, I promised to sacrifice to the Lord in Hebron if he would bring me back to Jerusalem.” 9 “All right,” the king told him. “Go and fulfill your vow.” So Absalom went to Hebron. 10 But while he was there, he sent secret messengers to all the tribes of Israel to stir up a rebellion against the king. “As soon as you hear the ram’s horn,” his message read, “you are to say, ‘Absalom has been crowned king in Hebron.’” 11 He took 200 men from Jerusalem with him as guests, but they knew nothing of his intentions. 12 While Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel, one of David’s counselors who lived in Giloh. Soon many others also joined Absalom, and the conspiracy gained momentum.

Absalom was described earlier as a strikingly handsome man, without blemish. However, we see his true character being revealed some more in this passage. He used is good looks, and obvious charm, to woo the Israelites in gaining support to conspire against King David, his father. He then even lies why he wishes to go to Hebron, and that by fulfilling his vow, he will worship the Lord!

Jesus describes these sort of people as “wolves in sheep’s clothing” ( Matt7:15). His purpose was all about himself.

But also notice that the Israelites believed him and their numbers were building in their following of him.

This reminds me we need to be wary of those that preach something contrary to the Word, and this can be by subtle. We need to be wary of false teachers, and those who subtly are promoting themselves, and not God.

Father, I pray that I can be wise and discerning of those around me who may have ulterior motives, and keep my own motives in check, that I may always be honoring to You. Amen

Written by Stephen Fell 

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