2 Samuel 15:1-12 Knife in the Back
David has finally fully welcomed Absalom back into his heart and home. But Absalom isn’t the sweet son he pretends to be. His fingerprints are on the knife in David’s back.
Absalom is nothing if not patient and cunning. When Tamar, his sister, was raped he schemed for two years before taking revenge on Ammon. When he was back in Jerusalem after David sent for him to come home he waited two years before demanding Joab get him and audience with the king. Now he will take four years and secretly turn the people away from David.
Is David blind to his son’s ways? Didn’t he notice the drop in traffic at his gate for people seeking his judgement? Was he happy about the drop? Did he not hear rumors of Absalom’s men and chariots? Why didn’t he connect the dots?
‘Snake oil salesmen’ make me angry! “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you… Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice” (verses 3b-4). He sold them on him being the answer to their problems.
DAVID was the one who would hear their claims. He was the ‘dedicated man’. What made the people think Absalom would give them justice when he was so clearly subverting it at David’s gate? HOW were the people SO BLIND!
I suppose I have an advantage because I’m seeing his acts from this side of history and not living through them. The same could be said with any of the leaders that have risen to power and then proved to be disreputable or cruel. I wonder how long Hitler ‘stood at the gate’ gathering support before making his play for power; or Atalla the Hun. The people lapped up what was being offered in the beginning and didn’t see the real man behind the mask until it was too late. The part that REALLY gets me is that they continued to be blind even when the mask was pulled away and the monster revealed.
Absalom quietly build a base of support for himself by intercepting those coming to David. He sold them on himself as their ‘salvation.’ I wonder if he rendered judgement for them in their cases or simply convinced them that there was none available.
There was no respect from Absalom for his father. I wonder if there ever was. There also appears to be no love for David from Absalom either. On David’s side, there was no discipline for his son from him. David may have believed he loved his children but God tells us that those who are loved are disciplined. Other than the five year estrangement, I see NO discipline ever given to Absalom. No consequences for his actions. No redirection.
How do our children know we love them if we don’t pay them any attention? I know children so starved for attention that they act out just to get some kind of notice. They will take negative attention rather than no attention at all. Even Absalom’s ‘acting out’ didn’t get him what he needed. I wonder how different his story would have been if David had noticed him.
I am NOT excusing Absalom’s behavior! He hid well what he was doing or the two hundred guests from Jerusalem would have known something was up.
WAKE UP before it is too late! We are constantly being sold one bill of goods or another. Politicians are the best at this. But we need to open our eyes and see the truth behind the rhetoric. We can’t blindly follow someone just because they please our ears or make promises to deal with OUR concerns. We have to look at their motives; peek beneath the mask before it is too late.
One final thing. Even when the ‘wrong person’ becomes our leader we still are to pray for them. God can use ANYONE to accomplish His will. Sometimes He purposefully uses someone evil to accomplish His good. If ever in doubt look back at the stories of Pharaoh with both Joseph and Moses. Those of us who have read our bibles also know it is going to get worse before it gets better. God is STILL in control and He has a plan HE is working out, in HIS OWN WAY. Be patient. Be alert. And pray.
Father God, I wish there were no ‘snakes in the grass’ like Absalom. Sin let them in. Help me to be able to spot the phonies and to avoid getting taken in by them. Open my eyes Lord. For my ‘own house’ don’t let me be the parent who never sees what my child is doing. Not because I can’t see but because I don’t want to. I desire to live a life my children will be proud of and that they will want to follow. That includes showing love through loving discipline. Thank You Father for giving me the chance to be their mother.