READING: 2 Samuel 15:1-17:14
The human heart is unquestionably wicked. We sometimes, as we see today in our reading about Absalom, even conspire against others in our desire to gain prominence and position. Look particularly at the detailed efforts of David’s son to gain a following. First, he acquired horses and chariots—an unusual act in that day—and he gathered around him bodyguards to go ahead of him wherever he went. Second, he arose early to be at the city gates, perhaps in a deceptive effort to show his commitment to effort and hard work. Third, he treated people personally, asking them about their heritage and their history; he apparently made them feel important. Fourth, he affirmed their case—seemingly without genuine consideration for its merit.
Fifth, he subtly judged the king, suggesting that no one was willing to hear these complaints. David, his son intimated, was not fulfilling his responsibility as king. Sixth, he pointed out that he would like to be judge, thus planting this possibility in the minds of the people. Finally, he refused to accept their homage when they chose to bow before him. Instead, his actions implied that all were equal. He took these steps for four years, so it’s not a surprise that “he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel” (2 Sam 15:6). Even David, it seems, did not suspect any evil, though he surely heard about Absalom’s work among the people.
Deceptive. Intentional. Sly. Rebellious. Arrogant. That’s where the human heart can go. And, lest we judge Absalom too quickly, all of us could go there apart from the intervening grace of God in our lives. Thank God for His transforming mercy!
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Is there any place in your life where your heart is leaning in the wrong direction?
TODAY’S PRAYER: “Lord, make me a person of complete integrity this day.”
TOMORROW’S READING: 2 Samuel 17:15-29, Psalm 3, Psalm 63, 2 Samuel 18:1–19:30