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  • William T. Howe Ph.D.

April 8, 2024

Rēad to Read …Again


Daily Reading: II Samuel 13-15

 

II Samuel 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.

 

Enter Absalom. The man of charm, wit, and boldness. He was the third son of David, and probably the heir apparent to the throne of Israel. He had the right lineage, both his mother and father were of royalty, his mother, Maacah was the daughter of the king of Geshur, whose name was Talmai. Absalom was a handsome man. The Bible states clearly that …from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him (14:25). Furthermore, coupled with his goodly appearance was his gift of charm. After all, he stole the hearts of all Israel with his beauty and charm. A deadly combination that can either be a blessing or a curse.

 

In Absalom’s life these traits became a curse. For as it is with so many who possess such natural gifts, he misused them for his benefit without thought or care for others. He is the poster image of a person who suffers from self-aggrandizement. He reminds one of the old poem.

           

I had a little tea party this afternoon at three,

            T’was very small, three guests in all,

            I, myself, and me.

            I ate all the sandwiches, myself drank all the tea.

            T’was also I that ate the pie, and passed the cake to me.

 

That was the kind of man Absalom was. But worse. For with all those wonderful qualities, he also had a very dark side. He was traitorous by nature. He murdered his brother (13:29), was guilty of false humility and care for others (15:2-3), destructive without regard for others as proven by burning Joab’s fields (14:30), and he attempted to overthrow his father (15:13-14).

 

Ultimately, as is always the case, his life came to no good end. The one attribute that was his glory, his hair, caused his life to hang in the balance (literally). This will be read about in chapter eighteen.

 

In this man’s life three overriding attributes must be considered.

 

One, his egotism. Dr. Bob Smith is famous for saying “Ego is the hypodermic that God allows man to administer to himself to deaden the pain of being a fool.”  That simple statement covers the entire life and nature of Absalom.

 

Two, his absolute godlessness. There was no divine restraint or principle in his life acti0ns. It was all pure natural evilness.

 

Three, he died lonely and was buried in an unmarked grave. All he had left to memorialize his life was a pillar he himself built and named after himself. However his lasting legacy is a cautionary tale of one whose talents became his greatest shame.

 

Dr. William T. Howe

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