Have you ever been duped by flattery?
Maybe someone has told you how wonderful you are or given you a special gift that you thought was all about them liking you and being kind but found out later that you were just being used?
It is a sad reality of life but happens none the less.
Manipulating people for one’s own purposes is the worst kind of narcissism, especially when it reaches beyond individuals and affects entire nations as we find in the case of Absalom, son of David.
2 Samuel 15-17 finds Absalom building up followers and chariots. He stands at the entrance to the city and when the tribes of Israel come to file a complaint, he states that if only he were established as the judge, they could get a fair hearing, but alas, there is no one who can help.
He would then reach down and kiss them as well!
He is smooth isn’t he? “Oh, how I care about you and your concerns! If I were in a position to help you, I would in a heartbeat!” SWACK! (Sealed. With. A. Kiss.)
Reminds one of an election year.
We know Absalom is a schemer, he manipulated his brothers to kill the disgusting Amnon and now he wants his father’s kingdom as well!
Let’s just say that his father’s better qualities were not handed down to this child. He is a snake.
So, he amasses quite a following with all his flattery and David and his officials flee Jerusalem. Once again, David is on the run.
A loyal supporter of Saul named Shimei, curses him along the way, screaming that he is a loser and God is punishing him.
It is a real bummer when you are already down and out and people start telling you it is because of God’s judgement on your head that it is happening. Job got dealt that blow and now David.
Can’t you feel with David as he is marching with his supporters out of Jerusalem, knowing that his own son would have him killed in a New York minute if he thought he could gain the kingdom. Adding insult to injury, this Shimei guy is cursing him along the way.
The good news is that a staunch supporter of David’s (Hushai) remains as an insider in the palace when Absalom arrives. He gets the scoop on the attack plan and gets the word to David! All is not lost!
Meanwhile, Absalom sleeps on the roof with the concubines that David left behind, thus fulfilling Nathan’s prophecy that David’s own flesh and blood would be immoral like David, only publicly and with the women in his house.
With a story like this, who needs Hollywood?
Meanwhile, God continues to work out His plan.
Man can scheme and plot all that he wants but at the end of the day, the Lord has the final word.
“A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth, who winks with his eye, signals with his feet and motions with his fingers, who plots evil with deceit in his heart-he always stirs up dissension. Therefore disaster will overtake him in an instant; he will suddenly be destroyed-without remedy.” Proverbs 6:12-15