Most villains do not see themselves as the bad guy. They think they are making difficult decisions that will ultimately be for the best. The Emperor in the Star Wars movie saga is one example, as he sought to bring order to the galaxy.
In today’s reading, Absalom carefully plotted to kill his father. This is the second time he has meticulously created a plan to commit murder. In his mind, both conspiracies were justified. He had killed Amnon in revenge for what he had done to his sister. His plot to overthrow David was for the good of the kingdom. It is easy to deceive ourselves into thinking we are doing something noble and just when we are operating in ways that contradict God’s commands.
Once Absalom was settled back in Jerusalem, he started acting like a king. He provided himself with a chariot and horses with an armed escort (v. 1). He arose early in the morning and sat at the city gate. This is the place people would come to have their complaints heard and for justice to be administered. Absalom sympathized with each petitioner and lamented the fact that he could not help them: “If only I were appointed judge in the land!” (v. 4). Clearly David had neglected his duties. Absalom took advantage of his inaction and “stole the hearts of the people of Israel” (v. 6).
On the pretext of fulfilling a vow, he brought two hundred of the top administrators with him to Hebron and launched a revolt against his father (vv. 10–12). David would be without the support of his best administrators, and they would serve as hostages. The suffering of Israel was largely due to David’s failure to confront sin. He did not provide justice for Tamar. He did not hold Amnon accountable.
>> We must take sin seriously! Are there areas of your life today that need to be confronted? Allowing sin to linger may be more damaging than you realize.
We struggle to take our own sin seriously. Conversely, we struggle to grasp the significance of holiness. Father, help us understand both, even as You forgive us. Confront us with areas of sin undealt with.