The Bible says, Absalom stole the hearts of people. He didn’t earn their hearts or win their hearts. He stole their hearts. He began projecting leadership as incompetent. He was saying, ‘The king is not doing his job. Here is what he ought to be doing.’ DON’T BE LIKE ABSALOM. He openly, negatively criticized God given authority. It was not the king or authority who was not doing their job. It was he had hidden agendas, hidden bitterness, and hidden hatred against all authority. His sister had been raped.
DON’T BE LIKE
By Pastor Delbert Young
Don’t Be Like Absalom
Don’t Be Like Absalom
Scriptures: 2 Samuel 13:1, 2 Samuel 13:14-15, 2 Samuel 13:20, 2 Samuel 13:22, Hebrews 12:15, 2 Samuel 13:23-24, 2 Samuel 13:28, 2 Samuel 13:29, 2 Samuel 13:32, 2 Samuel 14:25-27, 2 Samuel 15:1-2, Romans 13:1-2, 2 Samuel 15:7-10, 2 Samuel 15:12, 2 Samuel 16:22, 2 Samuel 18:6-7, 2 Samuel 18:9, 2 Samuel 18:14-15
Over the next few weeks, I want to talk about some, let’s say, negative characters in the Bible. These are characters we DO NOT WANT TO BE LIKE, nor do we want to be around people that are like them. Each was their own demise. If you are like them and do not correct, you will be your own demise as well. Most pastors preach about these characters when something bad is going on in their church and they are trying to correct a bad situation. That is not what I am doing. My purpose is to show us traits of these negative characters are in all of us. You will see how God dealt extremely harshly with them. My goal is to help us avoid their end. Today I want to talk about DON’T BE LIKE ABSALOM.
Absalom was the third son of King David by David’s third wife (2Sa 3:3). David, though a man after God’s heart, became a very impulsive person (Bathsheba) and a person who capitalized on the gratifications of the flesh. This obviously spilled over into his children (as what we become spills over into our children). David’s children were spoiled, impulsive, rebellious brats who loved the gratifications of the flesh. Concerning Absalom, the scriptures say nothing about him for over twenty years other than his birth. Then, we read…
2 Samuel 13:1 IN THE COURSE OF TIME, Amnon son of David fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful SISTER OF ABSALOM son of David.
The course of time reveals hearts. Amnon was the oldest of David’s sons, the rightful heir to the throne, and Absalom and Tamar’s oldest brother by a different mother. Amnon fell in love with his half-sister Tamar, or so he thought. With a stalker’s plan, Amnon played sick and persuaded his father David to instruct the beautiful virgin Tamar to go to Amnon’s house. There, Amnon raped Tamar, Absalom’s sister.
2 Samuel 13:14-15 But he refused to listen to her, and since he was stronger than she, he raped her. Then amnon hated her with intense hatred. In fact, he hated her more than he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “GET UP AND GET OUT!”
After Amnon finished with Tamar, he treated her like trash. The Bible says that King David heard of this and was furious (2Sa 13:21), but David, seemingly, did nothing to punish Amnon. Afterwards, he took his sister Tamar into his own home.
2 Samuel 13:20 Her brother Absalom said to her, “Has THAT Amnon, YOUR brother, been with you? BE QUIET NOW, MY SISTER; HE IS YOUR BROTHER. DON’T TAKE THIS THING TO HEART.” And Tamar lived in her brother Absalom’s house, a desolate woman.
BE QUIET… DON’T TAKE THIS THING TO HEART… DO WHAT? She was raped by her oldest step-brother and then treated like trash. What did Absalom mean, Be quiet… don’t take this thing to heart? Was he trying to get her past the rape? If so, it did not work for she lived a desolate woman for the rest of her life. Whom was he protecting? It was not Tamar and, as we will see, he did not care about Amnon, David, or David’s kingdom. So, what was he doing? Here is what he saw. His half-brother (eldest, heir apparent, next authority in line after David) raped his sister. He saw David, the father (authority) of all involved and king (authority) in the land, do nothing to punish Amnon. He saw unremorseful Amnon get by with raping his sister. Yet, he said, Be quiet… don’t take this thing to heart. Let’s take a break from the story for just a minute and ask what would you do if you were Absalom? How would you feel, think, and handle the situation? I certainly would not have said, Be quiet… don’t take this thing to heart… unless… I had my own agenda and wanted to keep it quiet for my own benefit. Making too much fuss about it could disrupt my plans. He was saying, “Let’s not cause too much trouble here. I do not want them upset with me because of you. So, Be quiet sister… I do not want them suspicious of me.” Look at this next verse.
2 Samuel 13:22 ABSALOM NEVER SAID A WORD TO AMNON, EITHER GOOD OR BAD; HE HATED AMNON because he had disgraced his sister Tamar.
Absalom never said anything to Amnon or David because he had his own agenda. The situation began to grow inside Absalom. The rape of Tamar by Amnon and the mishandling of it by his father David the king revealed a serious problem in Absalom’s life. It revealed a root of bitterness.
Hebrews 12:15 LOOKING DILIGENTLY lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any ROOT OF BITTERNESS springing up trouble you, and thereby MANY BE DEFILED
We are told to LOOK (investigate) DILIGENTLY. This can cause you to miss the grace of God. A root of bitterness does not only affect the person with the root. It defiles many. If not dealt with, the root of bitterness will grow and grow until it consumes the person, as it did Absalom. ABSALOM’S ROOT OF BITTERNESS WAS AUTHORITY – home/family, government, religious. He was bitter at any authority figure. Do you have a root of bitterness? Is something in you that causes you to rebel against authority, or hate certain people, or have some hidden agenda at the expense of others?
2 Samuel 13:23-24 TWO YEARS LATER, when Absalom’s sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king’s sons to come there. Absalom went to the king and said, “Your servant has had shearers come. Will the king and his officials please join me?”
2 Samuel 13:28 Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then KILL HIM…”
Sheep shearing was a big party event. Under the disguise of a party, Absalom had a coup d’état planned for Amnon, David, and David’s officials. David and his officials declined the invitation. Had David gone to the party, Absalom would have had him killed also.
2 Samuel 13:29 So Absalom’s men did to Amnon what Absalom had ordered. Then all the king’s sons got up, mounted their mules and fled.
Word came to David that Absalom killed all his sons.
2 Samuel 13:32 …”No, not all your sons have been killed! It was only Amnon! Absalom has been PLOTTING THIS EVER SINCE AMNON RAPED HIS SISTER TAMAR.
The issue was the hatred of the authority of Amnon and David. Absalom fled Jerusalemand David banished him for three years only adding more fertilizer to his root of bitterness. Finally, David allowed him to return to Jerusalem, but David did not allow Absalom to see him for two more years adding even more fertilizer. Absalom began plotting to take out David, the ultimate authority.
2 Samuel 14:25-27 Now no one in Israel was as handsome as Absalom. From head to foot, he was the perfect specimen of a man. He cut his hair only once a year, and then only because it was too heavy to carry around. WHEN HE WEIGHED IT OUT, IT CAME TO FIVE POUNDS!…
Ask you a question. What kind of person weighs their cut hair? Would you say it was someone who has serious problems? What is it that you “weigh?” What is it that you flaunt and allow to blow in the breeze for all to see? What is it that you think makes you “special?” If not cautious, it will hang you in a tree one day.
2 Samuel 15:1-2 After this, Absalom bought a chariot and horses, and he HIRED fifty footmen to run ahead of him. He got up early every morning and went out to the gate of the city. When people brought a case to the king for judgment, Absalom would ask where they were from, and they would tell him their tribe. Then Absalom would say, “You’ve really got a strong case here! It’s too bad the king doesn’t have ANYONE to hear it. I WISH I WERE THE JUDGE. Then people could bring their problems to me, and I would give them justice!” …So in this way, ABSALOM STOLE THE HEARTS OF ALL THE PEOPLE of Israel.
ABSALOM STOLE THE HEARTS OF PEOPLE. He didn’t earn their hearts or win their hearts. He stole their hearts with his attack. Absalom began projecting leadership as incompetent. “It’s too bad the king doesn’t have ANYONE to hear you… If I were judge, I would do it right.” He was saying, “The king is not doing his job. Here is what he ought to be doing… And, on top of that, he does not have ANYONE with him to make correct decisions.” DON’T BE LIKE ABSALOM. He openly, negatively criticized God given authority. It was not that the king or the authority was doing a bad job. It was that Absalom had hidden agendas, hidden bitterness, and hidden hatred against all authority. He projected to people that all authority, except his of course, could not be trusted. Absalom is dangerous. It was his attack on God-given authority that brought his ruin.
I will never forget observing the Bill Clinton presidency. How many remember President Bill Clinton? I watched that man go through scandal after scandal. Whitewater, Kenneth Starr, Newt Gingrich, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp, impeachment, pardoning horrific convicted criminals, and on and on went the scandals. Amazingly, in many of those scandals, Clinton was guilty. However, the thing that I began to notice was that every person who attempted to coup d’état him, found their own self destroyed. Ken Starr no longer practices law. Newt Gingrich was removed from Speaker of the House because of misappropriation of funds. Paula Jones’ ex-boyfriend put some nude photos of her on the internet and she eventually posed for Penthouse Magazine. Linda Tripp was charged with illegal wiretapping, spent $30,000 on a makeover, and is battling physical problems. My point is, you may disagree with those in authority, but you had better be careful what you say and do. Delbert, do you think that God placed Bill Clinton as President of the USA? Doesn’t matter what I think.
Romans 13:1-2 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for THERE IS NO AUTHORITY EXCEPT THAT WHICH GOD HAS ESTABLISHED. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is REBELLING AGAINST WHAT GOD HAS INSTITUTED, AND THOSE WHO DO SO WILL BRINGJUDGMENT ON THEMSELVES.
If nothing else, Bill Clinton’s presidency should prove that verse. I agree, David had many faults, all leaders do. However, you will bring judgment on yourself if you rebel against what God has set.
DON’T BE LIKE ABSALOM! He disguised his heart as being more interested in the people than was David and was David’s leadership. Absalom projected himself as being smarter than David. If I were king, here is how I would do it. Absalom wanted self-advancement at the expense of others, not because he had earned it. What true leadership had Absalom accomplished? He had stood before the people showing off his hair, but had he helped anyone? What wars had Absalom won? He had to hire and buy people to run before his chariot (2Sa 15:1). No one followed Absalom because of his proven leadership. At best, they followed him because he was pretty and talked negatively about leadership. Let’s see how life worked out for Absalom.
2 Samuel 15:7-10 At the end of four years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD. While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: ‘If the LORD takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the LORD in Hebron.'” The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron. Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.'”
Absalom was sneaky. He pretended outwardly to submit to authority, but inwardly planned rebellion. Hebron was where the Tabernacle of Moses resided. Absalom disguised his rebellion with submission and worship. He drew innocent people into his rebellion (2Sa15:11) and his rebellion grew.
2 Samuel 15:12 …And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.
Word came to David that Absalom had a tremendous following and was marching onJerusalem to overthrow the kingdom. We now see the heart of a true leader – the heart of David. David said he must leave or he would cause a battle at Jerusalem causing great destruction to the city. Also, it would cause the death of many innocent people. David would fight, but not at the expense of Jerusalem and innocent people. On the other hand, there was Absalom actually caring nothing for the people and only about power for himself. Instead of showing himself a good and honorable man and leader, he shows what kind of vile and vengeful person he actually is.
2 Samuel 16:22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he lay with his father’s concubines in the sight of allIsrael.
Absalom’s heart was a well-disguised heart. His heart appeared to be a heart that cared for others, but in actuality, only used circumstances and events, even the rape of his sister, for his own benefit. I can kill Amnon and be one step closer to the throne. I can weigh my hair, win the people by talking about the leader, and have the kingdom now.
Soon the battle between Absalom’s followers and David’s followers happened.
2 Samuel 18:6-7 …the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. There the army of Israel was defeated by David’s men, and THE CASUALTIES THAT DAY WERE GREAT – twenty thousand men.
There are always casualties when Absalom is around. The root of bitterness defiles many. Those good people died simply because of his unresolved root of bitterness. Those good people, once loyal to God’s ordained leadership and blessed by God, died for Absalom’s warped rebellion.
2 Samuel 18:9 Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going.
2SA 18:14-15 Joab… took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s HEART while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. And ten of Joab’s armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.
The problem is the heart. Absalom never dealt with his root of bitterness and it consumed him. He plotted 2 years to kill Amnon. He was exiled 3 years and could not see David for 2 more years. 4 years later, he attempted to kill David. He allowed this root of bitterness to take at least 11 years of his like and finally it took his life. It grew like his hair, eventually hung him, and was his demise. We all have some Absalom in us, but could you have a root of bitterness like a cancer stealing life from you? To remove a root of bitterness, we first expose it. Maybe we exposed it today. Then we cut it and dig it out. How is that done? We must deal with by it by the word of God, which is the sword of the Spirit. Confess it. If possible, go to the person to which you have the bitterness, ask forgiveness, and pray. So much could have been avoided had he talked with Amnon and David. For your own good, do not negatively criticize God-ordained authority for that is Absalom. Do not allow Absalom to win your heart. If you do, it will be your demise. DON’T BE LIKE ABSALOM!
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