2 Samuel 15:1-4 – “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 he gets justice.” NIV
I chose to use just four verses in this devotional in the 15th chapter but suggest that you read the entire Absalom story because it is one of POTENTIAL that turned to REBELLION and resulted in DISASTER. It not only affected Absalom but those he enlisted in his rebellion and caused them to miss the purposes of God for their lives. Absalom was “Heir Apparent” to the throne of David. He was loved by everyone, noted for his beauty, and filled with God-given natural ability, charisma, charm, and many other great qualities. The sad part is he allowed “Roots of Bitterness” and “Unforgiveness” to fester in his heart until it ultimately destroyed him and produced in him a “Deceptive Spirit” and a “Spirit of Rebellion.” We could all find ourselves in that place so it is a valuable story for us to read and study.
I’ve said, especially with regard to spiritual things, that “He who will not follow and submit to God-ordained human authority within biblical guidelines, will not submit to Divine Authority!” I’ve seen it and been the target of it.
Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 13:10 – “ONLY by pride comes contention; but with the well advised there is wisdom.” [Emphasis mine]
Proverbs 29:23 – “A man’s pride will bring him low; but honor shall uphold the humble in spirit.”
James 3:16 – “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every evil thing.”
THE SEEDS OF REBELLION:
Begins with a “Spirit of Hatred,” and usually comes out of an injury or perceived wrong. It can be a wound to the ego, pride, or person and may come in the form of words or even be physical. It is an infringement upon perceived rights as seen in 2 Samuel 13 – Amnon and Tamar (v.22). Absalom developed an intense hatred for Amnon and I will acknowledge that Amnon was a skunk of the worst kind.
Proverbs 10:12 – “Hatred stirs up strife….”
Proverbs 15:17 – “Better is a dish of vegetables where love is, than a fattened ox and hatred with it.”
1 John 2:9 – “The one who says he is in the light and yet hates his brother is in darkness until now.”
1 John 3:15 – “Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer…”
HATE is like cancer, it grows, spreads, and destroys. It breeds prejudice and prevents and perverts “Righteous Judgment.” It breeds a “Vengeful Spirit” and prevents “Forgiveness.” Through Absalom’s refusal to forgive he allowed the Seed of Hate to develop in his heart and this led to his ultimate demise.
Even in cases where we feel that our anger is “righteous indignation” if we allow hatred to fester and refuse to forgive it will lead us down the path of destruction. It is a most dangerous condition and position. I will stop here and pick this up tomorrow because more needs to be said.
May God bless you as you go through your day!