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Sunday, May 4 2014
2 Samuel 15: The Treason Of Absalom
"Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel"
Absalom, the third-born son of King David, was a vain, impetuous, adolescent-minded man. Absalom's killing of his brother Amnon for the rape of his sister Tamar (see 2 Samuel 13: The Rape Of Tamar) is understandable, but it was not his responsibility to render justice - it was David's mandate, as the father of the family. An earlier Biblical example was that of Dinah's full-brothers Simeon and Levi avenging Dinah, in place of their father Jacob / Israel - for which they were cursed, instead of blessed, from their father's deathbed will: "In their selfwill they digged down a wall. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce" (see Genesis 34: Dinah and A Biography Of Jacob: Blessings And Prophecies).
Absalom's usurping, not only his father's authority, but also the king's political mandate, became an arrogant habit for Absalom - even after he was permitted to return from exile (see 2 Samuel 14: The Flames Of Absalom). Eventually, Absalom took it all the way by staging a treasonous coup against his father King David. The word "king" means the head of a kin (the word "patriotism" originally meant faithful to the father i.e. the king); by the time of Absalom's rebellion, he had a long history of defiance against both true meanings of the word.
The traitor began by establishing an anti-throne at Hebron - Absalom's birthplace when David was headquartered there during the civil war with Saul (2 Samuel 3:1-5; see also 2 Samuel 2: King David Of Judah and 2 Samuel 3: The War Between The Houses of David and Saul). Like many narcissists, Absalom was a very good politician and psychologist - he used symbolism of his righteous father as a means to rebel against him. Then, "Absalom sent spies throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, As soon as ye hear the sound of the trumpet, then ye shall say, Absalom reigneth in Hebron."
"15:1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. 15:2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou?
David was a winning fighter, not a fool. The prime reason that David won every battle was that he chose the time and place - and then attacked at his enemy's weakest point, not his strongest (e.g. David didn't aim to bounce a rock off Goliath's armor - he aimed for Goliath's unshielded forehead). While facing overwhelming political and military forces in Absalom's revolution, David chose to leave the capital, not as a loss, but to survive for a later victory.
"15:13 And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom.
It was a very useful time for David - the rebellion showed King David who his friends and allies really were in Israel. It would make his kingdom far stronger after the rebellion.
"15:19 Then said the king to Ittai the Gittite, Wherefore goest thou also with us? return to thy place, and abide with the king: for thou art a stranger, and also an exile. 15:20 Whereas thou camest but yesterday, should I this day make thee go up and down with us? seeing I go whither I may, return thou, and take back thy brethren: mercy and truth be with thee.
The Levites remained loyal to the king - because they knew that David had been anointed and appointed by the ultimate King (see The Levites Of Christ). Nevertheless, David ordered them, along with The Ark (see the Fact Finder question below), to remain in Jerusalem - from which they would provide David with information about the rebel regime.
"15:24 And lo Zadok also, and all the Levites were with him, bearing the ark of the covenant of God: and they set down the ark of God; and Abiathar went up, until all the people had done passing out of the city.
Just as the Messiah did on the night that He was betrayed, David "went up by the ascent of mount Olivet" (see also Zechariah: He Shall Stand Upon The Mount Of Olives).
"15:30 And David went up by the ascent of mount Olivet, and wept as he went up, and had his head covered, and he went barefoot: and all the people that was with him covered every man his head, and they went up, weeping as they went up. 15:31 And one told David, saying, Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom. And David said, O LORD, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness.
Fact Finder: Why was The Ark still in a tent at the time of Absalom's treason?
This Day In History, May 4
1256: The Church of Rome's Augustinian monastic order was established with Pope Alexander IV's papal bull Licet ecclesiae catholicae (see Papal Bull).
1415: "Protestant" reformers John Wycliffe and Jan Hus were condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance (ironically, like most of the "Protestant" world today, they were persecuted for rebelling against the Pope's leadership, not the Church of Rome's antichrist doctrines; see Antichristians, The Church Today, The Church In The End Time and The Church In The Kingdom Of God; see also What Do Leaders Do?).
1471: During the Wars of the Roses, the Yorkists defeated the Lancastrians in the Battle of Tewkesbury.
1493: Pope Alexander VI, a Spaniard (at the time, Christopher Columbus was exploring and claiming the "new world" for Ferdinand, the king of Spain who started the murderous "Spanish Inquisition" against non-Catholics in Europe), decreed that all new lands discovered west of the Azores were Spanish, in effect dividing the world between Spain and Portugal.
1626: Dutch explorer Peter Minuit arrived in "New Netherland" (present day Manhattan Island).
1639: The St. Joseph and 2 other ships left Dieppe, France, for Canada; its travelers would eventually found a Jesuit College, a Hospitaliers house, and an Ursuline convent in "New France."
1675: King Charles II of England ordered the construction of the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
1814: The Bourbon reign was restored in France.
1886: The Haymarket Square Riot in Chicago by anarchist organized labour; 7 Chicago policemen were killed.
1910: The Royal Canadian Navy was created. During the Second World War (1939-1945), the Canadian Navy became the third-largest allied navy in the world, after the U.S. Navy and the United Kingdom's Royal Navy. During the "Cold War" years of the 1950s and 1960s, Canada had three aircraft carriers.
1919: The "May The Fourth" movement began in China when 3,000 students at Peking University launched a national protest.
1945: British Field Marshal Montgomery announced that all enemy forces in the Netherlands, northwest Germany and Denmark had surrendered unconditionally. on the same day, the U.S. 7th Army captured Hitler's country retreat of Berchtesgaden (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).
1947: The Etzel (a self-proclaimed "zionist" group - true Zionism is about Jesus Christ, not those who deny and reject Him - see A History Of Jerusalem: Zionism and A History Of Jerusalem: War And Peace) launched a deadly assault on the British prison at Acre, several weeks after 4 of their gang were hanged there for murders that they committed. By dynamiting its walls, 251 convicted criminals were able to escape, although several of the condemned felons were later recaptured and hung (2 days after the executions, 2 British soldiers were taken hostage and hanged by the Etzel in "retaliation"). By the present-day definition, the Etzel were a terrorist group who ignored (or were just plain ignorant of the fact) that it was the British that liberated the land of Judah, and much of the rest of the Middle East, from centuries of rule and occupation by the Ottoman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate and listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) and that it was the British Balfour Declaration (listen to our Sermon The Balfour Declaration) that enabled the independence of the modern-day state of Israel. The Etzel were killing the people that were freeing them.
1961: During the U.S. civil rights movement, the "Freedom Riders" began a bus trip through the South.
1970: Ohio National Guardsmen opened fire on student protesters at Kent State University, killing four and wounding nine others.
1979: Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1982: During the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina, the destroyer HMCS Sheffield was struck by a French-made Exocet missile. 20 British seamen were killed and 24 others injured. The missile plowed through the very center of the ship, causing so much damage that it later had to be scuttled.
1994: Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestinian terrorist leader Yasser Arafat signed a "peace accord" regarding Palestinian autonomy. It granted self-rule for "Palestinians" in the Gaza Strip and Jericho (see 1 Samuel 29: Where Is Palestine?).