Saturday, April 27, 2013

Two monuments

2 Sam18:5 And the king gave this command to Joab, Abishai, and Ittai: "For my sake, deal gently with young Absalom." And all the troops heard the king give this order to his commanders.
6 So the battle began in the forest of Ephraim,
7 and the Israelite troops were beaten back by David's men. There was a great slaughter, and twenty thousand men laid down their lives that day.
8 The battle raged all across the countryside, and more men died because of the forest than were killed by the sword.
9 During the battle, Absalom came unexpectedly upon some of David's men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great oak, his head got caught. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air.
10 One of David's men saw what had happened and told Joab, "I saw Absalom dangling in a tree."
11 "What?" Joab demanded. "You saw him there and didn't kill him? I would have rewarded you with ten pieces of silver and a hero's belt!"
12 "I wouldn't do it for a thousand pieces of silver, " the man replied. "We all heard the king say to you and Abishai and Ittai, 'For my sake, please don't harm young Absalom.'
13 And if I had betrayed the king by killing his son -- and the king would certainly find out who did it -- you yourself would be the first to abandon me."
14 "Enough of this nonsense," Joab said. Then he took three daggers and plunged them into Absalom's heart as he dangled from the oak still alive.
15 Ten of Joab's young armor bearers then surrounded Absalom and killed him.
16 Then Joab blew the trumpet, and his men returned from chasing the army of Israel.
17 They threw Absalom's body into a deep pit in the forest and piled a great heap of stones over it. And the army of Israel fled to their homes.
18 During his lifetime, Absalom had built a monument to himself in the King's Valley, for he had said, "I have no son to carry on my name." He named the monument after himself, and it is known as Absalom's Monument to this day. (NLT)
Two monuments; one to prideful self and a pile of stones marking his destruction.
Prov 16:18  Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Prov 16:19  Better it is to be of an humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud.
John 5:44  How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?
David may have been a poor father but he loved his prideful son. He did not want any harm to come to him, but the rules of war are different. Joab killed Absalom as Absalom's prideful head was caught in an oak tree limb where he was dangling. An amazing story. All the forest was in the battle, just as God may use the creation to bless us, he can use it to chastize us as well. " ...and more men died because of the forest than were killed by the sword. "
Twenty thousand of Israel were killed because of David's prideful rebellious son. David cried when he heard of his son's death.
2 Sam 18:33  And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!

This reminds me of Jesus crying over Jerusalem, a rebellious people. 

Mat 23:37  O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

As David would have died to save his rebellious son, God's own son Jesus came to die for God's rebellious sons. We humans were created in the image of God, but sin had separated us. The law said we deserved death. God's love sent his Son Jesus to die for us. A son of David died for all Israel and all who would believe in him. Through faith we receive God's grace instead of the law of death. We are saved by the blood of Jesus and by believing that he did this we are forgiven and given eternal life with Jesus and God the Father. An amazing story and it is the truth. Leave the monuments of pride and the grave and look unto Jesus and the cross.

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