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Family ties that advise

Devotional Reading: II Samuel15; II Samuel 16

Memory Verse: Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. Exodus 20:12 KJV

Because of events in yesterday's reading, Absalom the son of King David fled his father's kingdom. During his absence of three years, Absalom was sorely missed by David. Absalom had defended his sister's honor, though in a brutish manner, and fled the kingdom. His perceived heroism was enough to bar punishment. However, this was now overshadowed by his conceit (II Samuel 15:1).

Absalom longed for the praise of the people. He coveted the seat of judgment whereon sat King David. The Bible says that jealousy is cruel. Covetousness is a jealousy that has taken on a pitiful valiance. It thinks itself more worthy of what its neighbor possesses. It bravely seeks to depose its neighbor, to replace others with itself in ownership. This courage is faulty.

Though absalom had been received again into his father's kingdom, he had a prodigal heart. He sought his "inheritance" by cunning. He subtly gained the affection of the people, then later asked them to follow him knowing that their hearts were toward him. Absalom made no connection in his own actions to the error of Amnon whose death he had orchestrated consequently.

Though they encouraged him to sin, Absalom thought it well to do what was suggested by Ahithophel and Hushai his counsellors. Absalom was out of counsel with His father. This allowed the influence of Ahithophel and Hushai to remain strong. Absalom took much blame because he had power to command others; yet he did not have wisdom to discern bad advice.

Do you know people who entreat strangers better than their own family members? Despite his perceived nobility, Absalom dishonored his own house. God sent his Son to earth to build a family. When we honor the Son, we honor the father.

Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me for ever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. I Samuel 2:30 KJV