I have a dear friend that always says, “never make life decisions while you’re on vacation.” Boy, that’s true. Who knows how many costly decisions I may have made if I had followed my vacation heart! Who wouldn’t want a home in the Dominican, right?!? Being caught up in emotion can lead to a real lack of better judgement.
Read 2 Samuel 14:1-33.
Before we break this down, it’s important to know a few things: Joab and Absalom were good friends. Joab had murdered someone in his past, too, and didn’t care much for justice. And Absalom was the favorite son of the king and the people, and he knew it. How’s that for some stewing drama?
Compare and contrast this messenger sent to David with the one in chapter 12. Who sent each one? What was the intent of each one?
Did David consult the Lord in his decision to bring Absalom home? And how did he cushion the indulgent decision to let him back into his kingdom?
For a moment, we can parallel the mercy that David showed to Absalom with that of God’s mercy to us, but that’s where the parallel ends. David had selfish motivations of bringing Absalom home... to stop the nagging of the people, to end his own guilty feelings, and to have the son of his pride back under his wings.
What do you think were Joab’s motives?
Upon reading of Absalom’s behavior, what do you think was his heart’s condition?
Everybody is absolutely acting out of pride and selfishness here. There were no pure desires for forgiveness and reconciliation... right down to the manipulation and carelessness Absalom used to get his way in the end. Everybody was playing a part in the act, and the plot is ripe for disaster.
It’s interesting for me to put myself in each character’s place:
As David, how am I acting only out of what feels right in order to keep myself comfortable without seeking the Lord’s direction?
As Joab, how am I manipulating circumstances for my own personal benefit without regard to future consequences... even to the point of using others for my own “good” ideas?
As Absalom, am I living in an attitude of entitlement with a refusal to acknowledge my own pride or sin?
David’s not seeking the Lord in this moment, and there is no Psalm flowing from his heart. This speaks more to me than anything... Lord, may we not stray from you into the hands of the enemy and disaster! Reveal our true heart’s condition and draw us into you.