2 Samuel 18:1-19:10
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Wow. Intense readings today. As could be expected from Absalom's pursuit of his ego and pride the past few chapters, his sin catches up with him. One commentary had the interesting point that Absalom's "pretty head & long hair" (as you'll recall from 2 Samuel 14:25-26) ironically ended up being his undoing as his long hair got caught up in a tree. This seems very symbolic of how pride and ego can be it's own undoing. This image I think it sums up well where unchecked pride and ego can ultimately lead...
Well, Absalom did incorporate some long term ingenuity in his pride & ego - like the Egyptian Pharaoh's of old, Absalom decided to make sure he built a monument to himself! as we read about in verse 18 today: "During his lifetime, Absalom had built a monument to himself in the King's Valley, for he had said, "I have no son to carry on my name." He named the monument after himself, and it is known as Absalom's Monument to this day." Below is an image of Absalom's Monument (Pillar) -
While on one hand I do appreciate David's grace and love for his son Absalom, I have to say that I really do appreciate Joab's boldness & wisdom in rebuking David in verses 5 through 8: "We saved your life today and the lives of your sons, your daughters, and your wives and concubines. Yet you act like this, making us feel ashamed, as though we had done something wrong. You seem to love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that we mean nothing to you. If Absalom had lived and all of us had died, you would be pleased. Now go out there and congratulate the troops, for I swear by the LORD that if you don't, not a single one of them will remain here tonight. Then you will be worse off than you have ever been." That is quite a speech by Joab to David! And I believe he was right. David's love for his son was admirable in one sense - but it also could be seen as selfish in another sense. David seemed to care more for his son than for the nation of Israel, and Joab called him out on this. It is interesting how sometimes our love for one person can cloud everything else going on in our lives. Love for one person is a beautiful thing. But it seems that we should also be cognizant of others around us too - and love them. And sometimes, like David, we may need to realize that there is a greater good - a greater love - than the singular love we have been focusing on. This is not easy to discern of course... hopefully this makes some sort of sense or doesn't sound too harsh? Below is a portrait by artist Guy Rowe of David mourning for his son Absalom with Joab in the background giving his speech in the verses above:
Bible.org's commentary on today's Second Samuel readings titled "The Darkest Days of David's Life" is at this link.
Worship Video: Today's readings reminded me of the FFH song "Come Undone." Here's a great live version of this song:
Have you come undone? Click here and become undone!
Comments from You & Questions of the Day: What is your reaction to David's grief over his son Absalom today? Why do you think he grieved so much? Also, what verses or insights stand out to you in today's readings? Please post up by clicking on the "Comments" link below!
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