David asked the Lord in Psalm 19 to “Keep back your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not have dominion over me, then I shall be blameless and I shall be innocent of great transgression.” What if Christian ministers, prophets, and teachers said that today? What if David’s son, Absalom, had prayed the same prayer as his father? But he didn’t, and a tragic story unfolds in 2 Samuel chapters 13-18.
Absalom was filled with pride and self-promotion. He was high minded and filled with rebellion. He had characteristics that would be seen as narcissistic and manipulative. He had a callous disregard for the resulting chaos, pain and even death that resulted from his actions. He was vengeful, a liar, and deceitful. The Lord says in Proverbs 8:13 that “He hates pride and arrogance. He calls it evil.” In Proverbs 16:5, the Lord also says “Everyone proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord; Though they join forces none will go unpunished.” That should cause so many to be more circumspect in their conduct.
Absalom incited rebellion and tore the kingdom of Israel apart. He went to war with his father, King David. He used lies and deceit to gain power. He had a critical spirit. He could judge and malign others, yet not see the plank in his own eye. Absalom viewed openness and Godly character as weakness to be exploited. So, he used deceptive means to undermine trust in him and plan insurrection. He was able to gather people to himself with false promises and flattery. In 2 Samuel 15:4-6, Absalom told people of the land that if he was judge over them, he would always give them justice. He would put out his hand to whomever came to him and he would embrace and kiss them. He stole the hearts of the men of Israel. They fell for these delusions of grandeur just like people do today.
Yet in the midst of this betrayal and intrigue displayed by Absalom, we see examples of both good and bad character displayed by men of Israel. We see a man like Hushai the Archite who put himself in a position of danger by going into the enemies’ camp to confuse the counsel of evil. He was faithful to King David. We see loyalty displayed from a man like Ittai who, though new to allegiance to King David, pledges fealty to him. Much like new Christians today who display greater belief in God’s ways than many longtime Christians who have fallen away. And we see a man like Ahithophel, a longtime counselor of King David, who chose to fall away and follow a lie. Ahithophel’s betrayal of King David led him to eventually realize his folly and kill himself. He died a traitor’s death much like Judas Iscariot. Sadly, I see Ahithophel as representative of so many Christian leaders described by the Apostle Paul in 2 Thessalonians, where he speaks to those who have fallen away from the truth. They have become enamored by lying signs and wonders from the works of Satan. And they have become subject to strong delusion sent by the Lord Himself because they did not believe the truth, but followed after lies and unrighteousness. Jeremiah 9 speaks to those who are of a lying spirit and commit iniquity. In verse 6 it says, “Your dwelling place is in the midst of deceit; Through deceit they refuse to know Me, says the Lord.”
People speak of an Absalom spirit. I don’t know if that is 100% correct as this spirit has been around since the time of Cain which pre-dated Absalom. But the same spirit that dwelled in the unrighteousness exhibited in Absalom is still alive and well today. From local churches to the highest levels of government, it is evident and breathing new lies, deception, chaos, rebellion and even death in our country and this world. This desire to gain that which is not authorized or ordained by God is witchcraft. Using any power to get what one wants, no matter how evil or destructive, is accepted and condoned. People rally around that, which at one time, would have been called out for its wickedness. Now, it’s business as usual and whatever is necessary to bring about a desired result. I am amazed at how many follow Christian leaders that operate in this spirit. I know so many who were once worthy of taking time to read what they wrote or go listen to them in person. Now, I’m saddened by the transformation I see in them. They follow that which has no part in what Christ taught. They prophesy from a lying spirit and lose no sleep after speaking false words or for doing their best to extort vast amounts of money from gullible followers. On a smaller level, we see that spirit cause church splits. People have no shame in falsely gaining alliances by false flattery, gossip and operating behind the scenes to gain leverage. They feed on the immaturity of those they seek to mislead and gather people around them by unscrupulous means and un-Godly ways. I’ve been part of church splits and have prophesied to church leaders that if certain things were not corrected, there would be a split, or in another case, just come to an end. But at no point did I ever go behind a leader’s back and speak ill of them. That’s gossip and divisive words that end in destruction. People like that are full of cursing and deceit and under their tongue is trouble and iniquity. (Psalm 10:7)
We must realize the source of all this that comes to rob, kill and destroy, and instead embrace that which is Christ, which brings abundant life. There is a price to pay for the deceit, lying and rebellion exhibited by Absalom and so many today. No matter what height you may attain using illicit means, the Lord says in Obadiah 1, “That though you ascend as high as an eagle, or nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down.” What a sobering thought. The Lord searches our hearts and tests our minds and will give to everyone according to their ways. We must take every thought that is contrary to God’s ways and cast it down. Demolish it. And remove our fascination with deceptive words and teachings from our minds just as we would a cancer from our body. Every stronghold of man, every high and lofty thing lifted up in our rebellious defiance, will be brought low. Loftiness and haughtiness of man, and every idol worshipped and followed, will come to an end. Our meager plans and even governments and kingdoms will be brought low. Now is the time to seek His face as never before. It is as Malachi said, that our errors and words have wearied God in that we think these evil ways are acceptable in His sight. They are not. Yet we continue to go on as if judgement will not touch us. You see, there are those who walk as Absalom did, who continue in their sin and yet pray to God as if all was in right order. They act as if speaking words of scripture will cover their sins. But God says their prayers are an abomination to Him. There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death. We need to examine our own works and see if we are walking in the way of Christ. Embrace Him. Hold fast to that which is good and abstain from every form of evil. Be kind and of the same mind toward one another. Overcome evil with good. Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith. Humble yourselves before Him. I pray the peace of God guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Blessings.