Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
2 Samuel 15:1-2a (NIV)
In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate.
2 Samuel 15:1-2a (MSG)
As time went on, Absalom took to riding in a horse-drawn chariot, with fifty men running in front of him. Early each morning he would take up his post beside the road at the city gate.
“After this, Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men as runners before him. He would get up early and stand beside the road to the gate [of the city, where court was held]…”-AMPLIFIED
By the end of 2 Samuel 14 we find a reconciliation of sorts between Absalom and his father David. We find Absalom demanding of his father amnesty and restoration to the court, but at no point do we see any sign of remorse or repentance on Absalom’s part.
Absalom now sets out to turn the hearts of the people of Israel away from his father and towards himself. Once again he is up to his sneaky, deceitful ways. (Sadly, some things never change.) How David does not see what Absalom is up to is a mystery to me. With all the pomp and circumstance that Absalom used as he went about doing things; none of his actions were hidden.
Let us notice how Absalom went about carrying out his conspiracy. Every day he would openly and publicly make a big show of going out to the city gate to meet with those who were coming into to meet with and appeal to the king for advice and guidance. He went about doing this in a very pompous way.
Scripture tells us:
“Now Absalom made it a practice to rise early and stand beside the road leading into one of Jerusalem’s gates. When someone came along who wanted to petition the king, he would ask, “What is your city?” The person would answer, “Your servant is from a certain tribe of Israel.” Absalom: I’m sure your claims are truthful and have merit, but the king has not appointed anyone to hear your case. If only I were appointed the authority in the land! Then anyone with a petition could come before me, and I would give him justice! When people came to Absalom to show their respects, he would embrace them and kiss them. Absalom did this to everyone who sought justice from the king; and in this way, he made himself the favorite of the people of Israel.” -2 Samuel 15:2-6 (VOICE)
Absalom’s intentions were to endear himself to the people of Israel and his plan worked too. He stole the hearts of the people. Absalom was secretly and subtly undermining his father and David was clueless. Absalom was a true politician at heart, telling people exactly what they wanted to hear. He was a rogue, a con artist and a trouble-maker.
David needed to learn a little wisdom when it came to dealing with his children. Solomon had the right idea, “Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. ” Proverbs 22:6
Absalom needed to learn a few things as well. He could have learned a few things from the Apostle Paul. In the book of Philippians Paul said, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or selfish pride, but in humility consider others above than yourself.” Philippians 2:3 (NIV)
Absalom had no problem taking advantage of his father or the people to reach his goals; which was kind of sad. ( Definitely not good leadership qualities.) He had no qualms in telling the people what they wanted to hear in order to build up his reputation. Absalom had learned the art of tickling the ears of the people and telling them what they wanted to hear in order to make himself look good in their eyes.
We, as children of God must remind ourselves to be faithful and true to our Heavenly Father. The Apostle Paul reminded Timothy of this as well, ” Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15.
It is not our job to build ourselves up or dew attention to ourselves. Our job is to stay true to God and bring glory to His Name. Let us be sure we are about the Father’s business.
Lord, my my heart be true to you. Forgive me for those times that I have allowed pride to creep in. It is not about me, but it is all about you. You must increase and I must decrease. I humbly ask your forgiveness for those times that I have allowed my pride to take your place in my life. Please forgive me. Help me keep my priorities straight. Thank you for always being faithful and true to me.