04/08/16 Monuments

READING: 2 Samuel 16-18

I wonder what I will leave behind when the Lord calls me home. Pam and I have a will, and we trust God will use our resources for His glory after our passing — but still I wonder what I will really leave behind. That question makes me evaluate what I live for each day.

The story of Absalom in today’s reading takes us in the same direction. He was the son of the king, but he longed to be the king himself. He slyly gathered the hearts of the people of Israel and rebelled against the king, his own father, David. He gloried in his prowess, in his handsome appearance, and in his hair (2 Sam 14:25) — and he captured the throne. When all of his own sons had died, he later erected for himself a memorial so he might be remembered: “Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar that is in the King's Valley, for he said, 'I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.' He called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom’s monument to this day” (2 Sam 18:18).

Strikingly, the writer of 2 Samuel gives us this information just after we learn that Absalom had been buried in a pit, with a heap of rocks over his burial place. Caught by his glorious hair and killed by David’s men, Absalom had come to his end. What was left were two memorials — both that pointed to the futility of his life. He thought he was something, and he died like everyone else does. What a tragic ending. 

That’s why I’m left to consider my life today. What am I really living for? What “memorials” am I trying to build for myself? If I were to die today, would I leave behind just a heap of rocks? 

If you are a faithful reader of these devotions, I’m asking you to pray for me today that I would leave behind something that really matters. Something that affects eternity. Something that points to God rather than to me. 


  • Evaluate your own life with these same questions. What are the memorials you’re building?
  • Please pray for me today.     

PRAYER: “Lord, I don’t want to come to the end of my life and have only memorials that don’t matter. Help me make choices today that really matter for eternity.”  

TOMORROW’S READING:  2 Samuel 19-21