Read 2 Samuel 17:1
Here's an important life-lesson: Always compare your desires with the Word of God. Absalom didn't, and his rebellion against God destroyed him (II Sam. 18:9).
Those who are evil like Absalom may be successful for a time and it may appear that all their plans have prospered. Great numbers of discontented people had gathered with him to overthrow his father David. Absalom and his troops entered Jerusalem without losing one man. David desired to do all he could to preserve the city of God. Absalom was able to proceed in his determination to assassinate David. The Sovereign God permitted Absalom to go only so far, then used an insignificant branch of a tree to entangle his hair. Absalom was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away (II Sam. 18:9), leaving him to dangle helplessly until he received the death he deserved.
There were many who had once flocked to his side. But now, when his hair was entangled in the thick oak and the battle was lost, each one rushed to escape, intent on saving his own life. No one even tried to helped Absalom escape.
A self-serving person is usually a lonely individual, bullying those around him for selfish motives, but void of the blessing of friends. A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother (Prov. 18:24). The principle of the cross must be the aim of everyone who believes in Christ, for even the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
This desire to be ministered unto is a selfish spirit. It is at the heart of disagreements in the home and on the job, divisions in the church, quarrels among individuals, and wars among nations. The uncrucified ego desires everyone and everything to serve it and, like Absalom, is angry when others fail to do so. Pity the poor pastor who must serve a congregation with a few uncrucified, unbroken hearts!
The Holy Spirit led Paul to write: Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory (pride); but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. . . . Do all things without murmurings and disputings: That ye may be blameless . . . the sons of God (Phil. 2:3,14-15).
Ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (I Pet. 5:5).
Thought for Today:
Serve the Lord with gladness: come before His presence with singing (Ps. 100:2).
Through Mahanaim, a city of refuge where David went when he was fleeing from Absalom (Josh. 21:38; II Sam. 17:27). Christ is our Refuge. We . . . have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the Hope set before us . . . even Jesus (Heb. 6:18,20).
17:8 chafed angered; 17:17 wench maidservant; 17:25 host army; 18:3 succour us out of the city remain in the city and assist by providing reinforcements; 18:9 taken up left hanging, suspended.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Iva Ann McElroy • Country: Colombia (38.6 million) in northwestern South America • Major language: Spanish • New government has declared religious freedom • 93% Catholic; 4% Protestant; .5% Tibal; .2% Muslim; .1% Baha'i; .1% Jewish; 2.1% non-Religious/Other • Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for those who forsake or disappoint you (II Tim. 4:16).
Optional Reading: Acts 18:1
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 119:11