The Spirit Of Absalom

By: Pastor Ben Aguirre

Every leader knows this one well. In fact, we often deal with this one. After a time, such lessons bring an incredible amount of wisdom.

Absalom was king David’s son. A first born son. This automatically places Absalom as an “heir apparent” to the throne. His name literally means “father of peace” probably prophetically speaking of his future potential. The scriptures tell us that in all Israel there was no one as praised as Absalom for his good looks, for from head to toe there was no blemish on him (2 Sam. 14:25). His hair was so thick and full that it weighed over 8 lbs when he cut it, which was another indication of his destiny in the royal family. But the story of Absalom did not end well.

Absalom had a sister named Tamar. Her half brother Amnon raped her and because these were the King’s kids, David did nothing to punish Amnon at least in the eyes of Absalom. He felt that justice had not been served so he set a trap and murdered Amnon. Once again, this being David’s children, the king only banished Absalom instead of executing him for capital murder as the Law demanded.

But after a time Absalom returned to Israel. He then began to sit in the gate and talk with people who were there with a quarrel or legal case they wanted the king to help with. Absalom told the men that if he were the king he would bring the justice they sought. It was in this way Absalom began to steal the hearts of the men of Israel away from his father David and then led a rebellion against the king. The rebellion was so serious that David had to flee Jerusalem and go on the run. One can appreciate how David must have been equipped for this after all those years of running from the mad king Saul. All that experience must have come in handy. The difference was this was his own son. His firstborn. The one he had mercy on by not executing him for a capital crime. How terrible and tragic this story is.

You see, many times we talk about the spirit of Jezebel at work in the church but not really the spirit that worked through Absalom. Jezebel’s story was and is about “control”. Absalom’s however is about “justice”. He felt slighted. He believed his father did not adequately defend his sister Tamar. What about her? All this led him to work the people until he won their hearts away from loyalty to the king. This led to an attempted coup which looked successful for a short period of time.

Pastor’s deal with this also. Someone feels that the pastor is not adequately taking care of those that are hurting or have been wronged by someone else within the church. Then Absalom stirs things up in the name of justice and righteousness and the coup starts. Absalom’s feel they are the ones called to defend the weak against the evil of a closed eyed apathetic pastor. Way too many fall for this scheme of the devil. It all looks so right but it is terribly wrong. During these times people tend to forget that pastors and leaders cannot open their mouths and defend themselves. We must rely on the Lord who called us to defend and on our manner of life before the people. We go on leading those who still follow knowing Absalom will be caught in his own hair at some point.

I often wonder how Absalom’s story would have been written had he not fallen into the trap of seeking justice in such an ungodly way. Maybe he would have gone down as a great story of God’s goodness. Nevertheless, we can ourselves become aware of such tests that come our way. Many have fallen already but that does not mean we have too.
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