5 Lessons From the Life of Absalom

Absalom was the third son of King David and his story, among other biblical profiles, shows humanity's imperfection and tendency to sin. Absalom's life highlights God's compassion and grace for us, and our need for a Savior then, and now.

The name ' Absalom ' means ' father of peace or peaceful'. Despite the world he was born in, his father, King David named him peaceful. Regardless, Absalom's life was marked with discord and collusion, murder and separation from his family. Absalom was known to be handsome and charismatic, having a long and thick hair, he seemed to have everything going for him, but like other tragic figures in the bible, he attempted to take what was not his. His story is one of pride and greed. He tried to overthrow the plan of God, instead his life ended in a violent downfall.

Let us explore 5 object lessons from the life of Absalom

1. Parental negligence

Absalom's actions were partly fueled by perceived injustices within his family. Absalom lacked discipline and guidance which he received from his father, King David. David was a busy king, and he did not give enough attention to his children. Absalom felt neglected and this contributed to his resentment. This shows the importance of parental involvement and guidance in a child's life. Children need structures, boundaries and attention in order to develop into health adults. Absalom did not have any of these things. Neglecting these needs as a parent, can lead to serious consequences.

2. Consequences of Rebellion

Absalom's rebellion against his father, King David , resulted in turmoil and tragedy. He was a handsome and popular man and he began to resent his father's rule. He plotted to overthrow David and take the throne for himself. He convinced many people to join him in this rebellion, and they began to gather support for this cause. However, David was warned of Absalom's plans and fled Jerusalem with his family. The rebellion culminated in a battle between David's forces and Absalom's army. Ultimately, Absalom was defeated.

The consequences of Absalom's rebellion were far-reaching. Not that only did Absalom's life end tragically, but the nation of Israel was divided and weakened as a result of the conflict. Many innocent people were killed in the fighting, and the nation was left to deal with the aftermath of the rebellion. David's grief over the loss of his son was profound, and he mourned the end of his relationship with Absalom. The story shows the destructive power of rebellion. 

3. Always Choose Wise Counsel

Another lesson from the life of Absalom is the importance of choosing wise counsel. Absalom surrounded himself with people who encouraged his rebellion , such as Ahithophel. He did not seek out wise and godly counsel, and this led to his downfall. Proverbs 12:15 says, " The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice". Seeking out wise and godly counsel is important to making good decisions and avoiding disaster in your life. Absalom chose to listen to the wrong people and ignored those who could have helped him make better choices . For example, his sister ,Tamar warned him about his rebellion but he did not listen to her. Tamar was a woman of integrity and wisdom ,but Absalom did not value her input. 

As Christians, we need to be very careful about the voices we listen to and make sure we surround ourselves with people who will speak truth into our lives. 

4. Don't Build Your Life with a Deceptive Charisma

Absalom's charm and physical attractiveness masked his deceitful intentions. He was a very popular person and charismatic, and he used his charm to manipulate and deceive people. He was a master of manipulation , and he was able to gain the support of so many people by playing on the emotions and desires. Absalom made his followers believe they were part of a movement that was going to change the world. He was very persuasive and convincing. However, underneath his charming exterior was a selfish and power hungry man.

This is a common pattern with deceptive leaders. They make big promises and offer hope, but underneath it all is self-interest and greed. A good leader will always have the best interest of his people at heart. 

5. Family Dynamics

Healthy family relationships is important and a potential turmoil can arise when family bonds are broken or strained. 

The dynamics of Absalom's family was quite tragic and complex. His father, King David, was an absentee parent who was more concerned with his own needs than those of his children. His mother, Maacah, was a negative influence in his life, constantly stirring up trouble and conflict. And his sister, Tamar, was a victim of sexual abuse at the hands of their half-brother, Ammon. All of these dynamics played a role in shaping who Absalom became and how he behaved. And this affected his life negatively, leading to his downfall.

Overall, as christians, we should understand that even if we come from a difficult family situation, we can still make choices that will lead to positive outcomes in our lives. 

We also see that, Absalom murdered Ammon, his half-brother because he raped his sister, Tamar and refused to marry her after the horrific acts he has done to her. This act greatly increased his fame and gave him more influence with the people. 

Absalom's life displayed the perils of unbridled ambition. His unchecked desire for power and recognition led him down a treacherous path. He thought he could rule the country better than his father, King David. Philippians 2:3 says, " Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility, count others more significant than yourselves". When we disobey, we simply do not carry out what we are instructed. When we rebel, we purposely do the opposite of what we are told. Never take revenge, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ' It is mine to avenge. I will repay.' says the Lord. Absalom decided to take revenge on Ammon for raping his sister and refusing to marry her. However, this did not end well for him. 

In addition, Absalom's story reminds us of God's grace, we can only imagine how God was saddened to witness rebellion and our constant state of sin as christians. Absalom's story, in the light of the New testament reminds us of how much we need Jesus Christ and how blessed we are to have the opportunity to fully receive God's grace. 

In the world today, Absalom's life story is playing out in so many peoples lives. This is why Paul wrote to the Philippians in Philippians 6:11, " Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 

There is evil corruption today as there was in ancient times . But in Christ, we have a supernatural power to guard ourselves from. This supernatural power is prayer. 

Putting on the armor of God means spending time with God in prayer and choosing his word, the bible everyday of your life. 

We should seek out a life that pleases God so that our lives can be protected from the evil that lurks around. Jesus died so we would have life to the full. 

Don't be like Absalom! Because of pride and bitterness towards his father, he lost everything including his life by trying to overthrow his father. 

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