2 Samuel 15:1-12
15 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. 2 He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.” 4 And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.” 5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel. 7 At the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the Lord. 8 While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: ‘If the Lord takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the Lord in Hebron.’” 9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron. 10 Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’” 11 Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.
In this passage we see Absalom, third son of David, with a desire to take down his dad as King and become King himself. His heart is deceitful exploiting what He sees as a weakness in his father’s kingdom to gain traction on his campaign. He strategically positioned himself at the gates; this being the primary sight for legal cases to be settled, he sees this as his greatest way of getting the people to resent David and get them on his side. His deceit and conspiracy end up working. Absalom rallies a large amount of support.
Absalom looks right. He has chariots and horsemen providing him with a look of importance with all the pomp and circumstance. He says the right things, he shows compassion and empathy. However, the people don’t realise that Absalom is the perfect example of what Samuel warns against in 1 Samuel 8:11.
Often, we see people who we think are the perfect model of what is to come. To the Israelites, Absalom looked right, said the right things and seemed to have compassion and empathy for their circumstances. We as followers of Jesus, we need to be people who rely on the Holy Spirit, not judging by an earthly measure as to what is good or acceptable but using an eternal standard and being spirit led. No one is perfect, definitely not David, however, he was God’s chosen which the people lost sight of. Perspective is important, reliance on the Holy Spirit helps us to keep our eyes fixed to Jesus.
Heavenly Father, thank you that you are gracious and kind. Thank you that you give us the Holy Spirit to help us keep our eyes on you and fixed to your ways. We ask that you lead us, help us and enable us to reflect you to our sphere of influence today. In Jesus name, Amen.
Written by Ps. Annique Botta