2 Samuel 15
I cannot do this justice in a short devotional or even two or three devotionals so I will hit the high points and hopefully convey that which is burning in my heart as a Word from God for the Body of Christ and local fellowships. It is my conviction that it is the Word and the Spirit that brings Life. Experience is a wonderful teacher but it is not life. A Word from God is not always pleasant because sometimes it deals with issues that must be corrected and presents requirements that are not comfortable for the flesh. Most people do not like hearing “Do No” they prefer to hear “Blessing.” Sometimes in order to get to blessings, we have to hear the Warning, Correction, and Instruction because it matures and protects. The less mature we are the more we resist warning and instruction. The more flesh oriented we are the more we resist. In fact, most of the time, correction is not received with a “Thank You so much for that word.”
It is imperative in the work of the Lord that we not get caught up in the Blessings but always listen diligently and carefully for God’s instructions and even His correction. I have three things that I hope to address in a highlighted fashion. There are certain questions by certain people that concern me greatly. In 2 Samuel 15, we find some of those questions and see a scheme that is dangerous and destructive. The Story of Absalom is one of incredible potential which turned into rebellion and resulted in total disaster for him, his followers, and the entire nation.
Absalom was ‘heir-apparent’ to the throne of David. He was loved by everybody and noted for his good looks and popularity. He had an incredible amount of natural ability, charisma, charm, and other qualities BUT… That’s where the rub comes. He allowed the ‘root of bitterness and unforgiveness’ to fester in his heart and it destroyed him. It produced in him a Deceptive Spirit and a Spirit of Rebellion. There is a progression that is followable in his life and one that provides a warning for each of us.
Notice the Seeds of Rebellion which began with a “Spirit of Hatred.” This root comes out of injury. Injury to person, ego, and pride. It comes through words and/or deeds and is either real or perceived. It began in Chapter 13 with Amnon’s rape of his sister Tamar and resulted in Absalom developing an intense burning hate for Amnon that would not die and he would not release. Proverbs 10:12 warns that hatred stirs up strife and Proverbs 15:17 gives a graphic warning against hate. 1 John 2:9 warns that if we hate we are still in darkness, not God’s light and I John 3:15 declares that if we hate our brother we are a murderer. THAT IS A POWERFUL WARNING! Hate grows and spreads, breeds prejudice and perverts righteous and rational judgment. It breeds a vengeful spirit and prevents forgiveness thus making it a prison.
The Spirit of Hatred resulted in the development of a “Spirit of Revenge.” Anytime hatred and unforgiveness are not rolled onto the Lord they produce this spirit and vengeance becomes the primary objective. This spirit usurps God’s authority, rejects His mercy, and produces an attitude of self-righteousness. We must always remember the words of Romans 12:19, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay says the Lord.” The following verses describe God’s desire of us toward our enemies and it is humbling and difficult. That is a rehearsal of the teaching of Deuteronomy. Revenge says, “My Rights!” Love says, “I have no rights, I am a bondslave to Jesus and because of His mercy I show mercy.”
This leads to a Spirit of Selfishness which is the root of all sin. Proverbs 16:2 tells us, “All the ways of are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives…” I want you to note the progression. Absalom is brought back from exile after three years but is given no audience with the king for two full years. By this time, he is boiling over with HATE and has developed his own agenda. He has learned to allow hate to have full vent. He has developed a deep disrespect for authority and has tasted apparent success in his rebellion in burning Joab’s fields. Hatred, bitterness, vengeance, and selfishness produce a Spirit of Self-Righteousness and the demonstration of a Superiority Complex that drives a person to believe they are or should be Number One. Two more spirits result: 2 Samuel 15:4 is the Self-Exalting Spirit, “Oh that I was made King in the land…” 2 Samuel 15:3 the Spirit of Self-Deception. He suggests to people that the king is not truly interested in them but he is and deceives many. He would sit at the gate and ask people where they were from and their cause and suggest that if he were king they’d get the result they desired.
Those suffering from the Absalom Spirit NEVER expose that up front and often are not aware it is the driving force in their lives. They sound sincere and their cause sounds valid and just. Some questions seem harmless but if you have discernment you detect something behind the question that is not wholesome and unifying. David’s men chased Absalom into the forest and the forest represents ‘confusion’. My prayer is: “Lord, we pray not that you will protect your people in the time of our visitation. I ask that you help your children to discern when an Absalom Spirit is attempting to gain a foothold. Amen.”
God, bless you and I will deal with another dimension of this tomorrow.