We have been considering the story of Absalom in 2 Samuel 15 and in 15:4 we discover the entrance of a Self-Exalting Spirit or Attitude. He sat at the gate and attempted to draw people into his camp saying, “Oh that I was made King in the land…” His implication was clear, “I handled Amnon when the King failed, and were I King I’d handle the problems of the nation properly.”
If we go back to 15:3 we discover the Spirit of Deception not only of himself but the people. He pretended to care about each person’s needs and problems and attempted to highlight the failure of the King. It was even a suggestion that maybe the King didn’t really care, but Absalom was the people’s king and cared deeply. Yes, he cared deeply but about Absalom and Absalom only.
If you follow the story it is a great movie with a plot easily followed. He would sit in the gate where he knew people would pass and ask seemingly harmless questions. He would shout to people things like, “What village are you from? What tribe are you?” I hear that in the Church world today and it is always troubling. Absalom was motivated by his own agenda not the needs of the people. He was seeking to find out what the people were concerned about and he would then address those concerns with his suggestion that “If I were king all would be handled.”
I have seen the Absalom Spirit operate in churches and it always leads to confusion, chaos, and even death spiritually if not dealt with quickly and scripturally. We hear politicians and even churches declare, “If I were in charge, you’d get what you need handled properly…”
Sadly, these people prey on individuals who are struggling to get through life and deal with the hand they have been dealt and, in their struggles, they are susceptible to this type of deception. I have heard questions like, “What do you think of what is happening in the church? What are the leaders doing about this or that? How are the services going? Is the church growing? Do you feel comfortable with what is going on?” Those and more are asked, and they sound harmless and sometimes might be, but they are usually designed to elicit the response, “Well, now that you asked…” Suddenly, some find themselves on the wrong end of a rebellion and tragedy occurs.
David’s men chased Absalom into the forest and the Bible says that more men were lost in the forest, that day than perished by the sword. If we understand that the forest represents confusion, a place where finding directions are difficult and we are easily lost, we catch a picture of the Bible’s imagery and truth for us to glean. Confusion ends in devastation. James 3:16 unveils this danger, “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exists, there is disorder and every evil thing.” That is not a place for the Church to thrive or survive!
Absalom was driven by hate and selfishness and his rebellion resulted in his destruction and damaged the entire nation in the process. I was in a church some time ago and felt compelled by the Lord to warn about Absalom. I warned that this spirit never came through the front door and openly declared its intentions but used deception.
I learned later that there were people in the church working behind the scenes and subtly to overthrow the leadership and had they not been exposed would have split the local congregation. God caused people to become aware of the Deception and over the next few months, they rejected the rebellion and restored the church to health. God knows and if we are forewarned, we are forearmed.
May the Lord be with you and richly bless you as you embark on today’s journey in Him!