Bible Passage: 2 Samuel 15
Absalom was the third son of King David, and 2 Samuel 14:25 described him as the most handsome man in the kingdom. We learn today about Absalom’s rebellion against his father and his deceptive takeover.
“…So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.”
2 Samuel 15:6
In this chapter we can see how Absalom’s cunning campaign worked.
- He portrayed a charismatic image (Chariots and horses, and 50 men to run before him)
- He was hardworking and knew where to position himself (He would rise early and stand beside the way to the gate)
- He looked for troubled people and reaches out to them (Absalom would call to him)
- He took a personal interest in the troubled person
- He never attacked David directly (no deputy of the king to hear you)
- Absalom promised to do better without directly attacking David (Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice)
And Absalom was handsome to boot, and he probably worked this to his advantage as well. He bided his time, slowly cultivating a righteous image. We can see from his words that he plants ideas into people’s heads, promoting discontentment in the hearts of the people. What he said seemed to sound right, but is that really the truth?
Similarly for us today, we have to be very careful not to be disillusioned by wicked and cunning people. They are cunning because they twist their words to sound right, which in turn led to people believe what is false. They are malicious because they won’t attack the righteous ones directly in their faces or in public, but rather, they make use of emotions to tug at people’s heartstrings and rally them against the righteous. They work carefully to allow unhappiness and doubts to creep insidiously into people’s hearts.
But we will only be affected if we let them, if there are existing cracks in our beliefs for such thoughts to creep in. The wicked ones can only deceive us and steal our hearts if we allow them to. Hence, we need to discern and be very certain of our church doctrines. We need to stand firm and be clear on what God wants us to do.
Are we on man’s side or God’s side? Whatever we hear or do, is it against God’s words? Always check back to the bible if we hear something that SEEMS to sound right, but yet not quite. If in doubt, always turn back to the bible which is the answer key.
Let us not be too easily impressed by appearance, and be too slow to appreciate the reality behind the image. May God grant us wisdom to tell right from wrong.