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  • Writer's pictureBro. Caleb Taft

Morning Manna | 2 Samuel 15:6 | Absalom stole the hearts

2Sa 15:6  And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Our last verse was a reminder of God's forgiveness and mercy amid chastening. Today's is a reminder of the severity and sureness of God's Chastening. My reading today is from 2 Samuel Chapters 13-15. David's life had been on an upward trajectory from when he was first introduced in 1 Samuel to that solemn night when he allowed his flesh to have control one more time. From that point forward David's life is now set on a downward trajectory. Today's Chapters have read like a court case instead of the life of the man after God's own heart. We don't have to wonder what happened. God told him, "The sword shall never depart from your house. David had burst into Uriah's house with adultery and murder and now those same sins have busted down the door of David's house and are ravaging his children while he sets back and watches the horrible scene unfold. If anyone is tempted to have one more night of debauchery, just one more fling, read these chapters and see the fruits of just "one more" sin. 

These Chapters are about Absalom, he seemed to be the child through which the majority of David's sorrow would come. Absalom was David's third-born son, the product of a political marriage "and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;" [2 Sam 3:3]. Ironically his name meant peace of his father, this name was chosen because his mother was married for a political move to help bring peace to Israel. Not much is said of David's failures in the previous chapters but when we read we find out that although David was God's man he was still a man at best and this marriage was not something David consulted God about, nor the scriptures, because marrying a foreigner was strictly forbidden. Absalom was a product of David's fleshy reasoning. We could say that he was David's Ishmael. What a reminder that our decisions have consequences, it may be many years before we feel the weight of them but be sure, whatsoever a man sows that shall he also reap. 

David's firstborn Amnon, had raped Abasalom's sister, for Amnon's crime against Absalom's abused sister, and probably more so for his wounded pride, Absalom plots to kill Amnon and does. After he murders his half-brother he runs away for a time. Then he returns to Jerusalem and is half-heartedly reconciled to his father. Now he feels comfortable enough to live in the same city with his father and begins to plot against his father. Which brings us to our verse today.

Absalom would sit outside the King's court and divert the people coming to seek the King's judgment. He was sitting like the serpent in the garden, trapping unsuspecting civilians, lying to them that the King did not have anyone who could judge their case rightly. He would embrace them, even kiss them, he spared no expense to steal their hearts. Truth mattered not to him, only that people saw him as greater than the king. 

We have in our hour these same types of people, Paul called them "grievous wolves." We have in our midst, tares among the wheat, growing up among us. False brothers, their birth was not right, they have never been born again. Their religious experiences have been that of a fleshly sort, their repentance was a half-hearted repentance, Like Absalom half-heartedly appeared before the king to make amends, these men will hardly admit they are sinners and can't see why they should repent. They feel as if all their sins are justified, they have that "Amnon made me do it" mentality. They may sit quietly in the pew for several years while they hatch their scheme and plan their attack but all the while they are attempting to steal the show. They are after the hearts of God's people. They make worship about themselves, they make everything about themselves. People come looking for judgment from the king but an Absalom steps between them and the king and in this doing becomes a sort of Anti-Christ, attempting to take the place that is reserved for the King only.  

Beware of Absalom's often they are successful, have powerful connections, and are masters of manipulation. One sure marker of an Absalom is they must be King. They will have very little to say about the King, and what they have to say about him will be shaded with suspicion and accusation. Their words are sweet but poisonous, kind and caring but malignant. Their words and actions toward you will intoxicate your heart until you begin to say with them, make Absalom King. There is only one King, many have tried to Usurp his authority and have all found themselves in the same tree with Absalom. The long glorious hair of Absalom was the death of him, and so will be the death of all those who seek to glorify self and not Jesus. The same glory they were intoxicated with, and controlled by will one day be what they are judged by. Beware of Absalom! It may seem that he is prevailing today but tomorrow he will be swinging.

Lastly, all of David's children seem to be a mess, except one. The one we should expect to be the greatest menace, the one born of his horrible sin turns out to be the one to whom God passes the family covenant. I have a theory as to why this was so. As far as I can tell Bathsheba seems to be the only marriage that is brought before God. He brings the whole situation before God in Psalm 51 and gets everything dealt with and thus God blesses it, even though it started as a sinful union, by God's grace and forgiveness it turns out to be the only one that was blessed. What a God! Dear reader, if you are in a mess today, take that mess of a sinful life, sinful decisions, and sinful desires and take them to Jesus, he alone can turn your mess of a situation into a blessing.  

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