Jump Start # 3088
2 Samuel 16:21 “Ahithophel said to Absalom, ‘Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house; then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself odious to your father. The hands of all who are with you will also be strengthened.”
Our verse today isn’t one that you’ll find on a greeting card. You’ll likely not see this verse posted on Facebook as a thought for the day. Not this verse. Absalom, the rebel prince, was spinning out of control. And what our verse does, is pull the curtain back and allows us to have a sneak peek into David’s home. And, what a mess we find. The wonderful king of Israel, God’s chosen, the sweet singer, the Psalm writer, the giant killer, the one with a heart for God, had a disaster within his home.
David could rule the nation and the world, but not his own family. Our verse comes at the time that Absalom has had enough. He more than dislikes his father, he sees him as weak. Absalom puts all the pieces together to take over the kingdom. Part of this plan will involve killing his father, but Absalom has no problem with that. When Tamar, David’s daughter was raped, David did nothing. After two years, Absalom killed the rapist, his step-brother. For more than five years, Absalom and David do not talk to each other.
Our verse shows the depth of Absalom’s hatred and the absence of any moral compass in his life. He will engage in sexual relations with David’s concubines on the roof top so everyone can see. Blatant. In your face. Purposely hurtful. Our verse says that the intention was to be “odious” to David.
Odious—not an everyday word.
· Abhorred (KJV)
· Stench (ESV)
· Obnoxious (NIV)
· Repulsive (CSB)
We get the picture. He was trying to embarrass David. He was trying to shame David. He was trying to hurt David. Now some lessons:
First, the idea of all of this came from Ahithophel, the worthless advisor to Absalom. What does this tell us about who is in our lives? Just who is it that is influencing us and telling us what to do? The more worthless people that are in our lives, the more we are swayed to do things that are not pleasing to the Lord. If I’m serious about Heaven, then I need to be around those who are also serious about Heaven. Much, much too often, we give people a pass because they are “family.” They are allowed to say anything, do anything and no one will have the nerve to say otherwise. “They are family,” is the justification. You don’t pick your family, you pick your friends and those who impact your life.
Got an Ahithophel in your life? Time to put some distance between you and him. He’s not going to help you do what is right. His advice is tainted, worldly and self serving.
Second, Absalom found a common bond in Ahithophel. They were too similar and that’s why they used each other to get what they wanted. Throughout Scriptures you will not find a prayer of Absalom. You don’t find him referring to God. You don’t find him worshipping. Absalom had a great example before him, in David, but he chose to ignore that example and be worthless. Why is it that some hang out with the wrong people? Why is it that some date those who are trouble? Why is it that some marry those who have a long history of selfishness and ungodliness? There is an attraction there. Similar hearts. Similar agendas. Having the heart that wants to serve the Lord is something that must be developed. But it’s very hard to do that, if that person is only hearing that once a week and the other six days a week are spent looking in the other direction.
As much as I love king David, he is not a role model for dads. Maybe he was gone too much fighting wars. Maybe he was too busy running the kingdom. Maybe he had too many wives and too many kids from all those wives and that bred envy, suspicion and selfishness. Out of touch and out of control, the walls came crashing down, even to David’s final breaths when there was a run on who would be the next king.
Third, Absalom had no love for his father. Odious. Stench. Repulsive. That’s what Absalom’s actions did. And, those words describe Absalom’s feelings toward David. Parenting is hard. You can’t be your child’s best friend. Best friends don’t get on each other. Best friends allow each other to do what they want. Parents must have rules. Parents are the authority. Parents are given the charge and the responsibility of raising their children. Because of that, there are days when your child won’t like you. Stick with it. There are things your child wants to do that you will say “No” to. You are building and shaping the character of your child. You have a direction and a goal. You have a plan. You are with God on what your child needs.
By the time of our passage, Absalom is an adult. David missed the opportunity to mold Absalom long before this. Without parental guidance in your child’s life, an Ahithophel will appear and the worst will happen. We are in the seasons of honoring Mother and Father. It is a spirit of love, grace, guidance and God that will shape your child to be useful to God and the community.
Sure are things to pray about in these times…