Three Kings: Absalom
By Gene Edwards
A condensed version of the story of Absalom. I
Recommend you read the full story of Saul, David and Absalom in his
book, "The Tale of Three Kings."
Which King are you?
It warmed your heart to know a man like Absalom, who saw things so
clearly. Discerning. Yes, that was the word that best described
himódiscerning. He could penetrate to the heart of any problem.
Men felt secure just being with Absalom. They even longed to have
time with him. Talking with him, they realized that they themselves
were wiser than they'd realized. Such a revelation made them feel
good. As he discussed problem after problem and solution after
solution, men began to long for the day when this one would be their
leader. He could right so many wrongs. He gave them a sense of hope.
But this imposing, insightful man would never deliberately hasten
the day of his own rule, of this they were certain. He was
far too humble, too respectful of the present leader. Those
around him began to feel a little frustrated that they would have to
keep waiting for the better days of this man's rule.
The more they sat in his living room and talked, the more
they realized there were things presently amiss in the kingdom.
Yes, things amiss which they had never thought of before. And
problems. Problems were coming to light they had never dreamed of.
Yes, they really were growing in wisdom and in insight.
As the days passed, more and more of them came to listen. Word
spread quietly. "Here is one who understands and has the answers." The
frustrated came. They listened. They asked questions. They received
excellent answers and began to hope.
Heads nodded. Dreams were born. As time passed, there were more
such gatherings. Ideas turned into stories, stories of injustice that
others might have deemed trivial. But not this listener! Absalom was
compassionate. And as those around him talked, the discovered
injustices seemed to grow in number and severity. With each new
story, men were more shocked at unfairness that was now, it seemed,
But the wise young Absalom sat quietly and added not a word to
these murmurings. He was too noble, you see. He always closed the
evening conversations with an humble word of deference toward those
But it was too much to expect that any man could sit quietly by
forever. This endless parade of injustice was bound to stir
even the most respectful man. Even the purest in heart would be
smitten with anger. (And this man was certainly the very purest in
Such a compassionate man could not forever turn his face from these
sufferings nor forever remain silent. Such noble character as this had
someday to speak out.
Finally his followers, which he vowed he did not have, were almost
livid. Their insights into the wrongdoings of the kingdom not only
grew but abounded. They all wanted to do something about these endless
At last, it seemed, the magnificent young Absalom might concede. At
the outset it was only a word. Later, a sentence. Men's hearts leaped.
Glee, if not joy, reigned. Nobility was at last arousing itself to
action. But no! He cautioned them not to misunderstand. He was
grieved, yes, but he could not speak against those in seats of
responsibility. No, absolutely not. No matter how great the
grievances, no matter how justified. He would not.
Yet he grieved more and more. It was obvious that some reports
drove him to agony. Finally, his righteous anger broke out in cool,
controlled words of strength. "These things ought not to be." He
stood, eyes blazing. "If I were in responsibility, this is what I
And with these words, the rebellion was ignited. Ignited in all but
one, that is. In the noblest and purest man in the room, this was not
Rebellion had been in his heart for years.
He is both sincere and ambitious. A contradiction, perhaps, but
true, nonetheless. He probably means some of what he says. But his
ambition will continue long after he discovers his inability to do the
things he promises. Righting the wrongs always becomes secondary to
ascent to power.
He (Absalom) was very emphatic that there should be more
freedom in the kingdom. Everyone liked that. 'A people should be led
only by God, and not by men,' he said. " Men should do only what they
feel led of God to do. We should follow God, not a man.' I believe
those were his words.
He (Absalom) spoke of the great visions he had for God's kingdomóof
the great achievements the people were capable of. On the other hand,
he spoke of many changes he would make in the way the kingdom is run.
Although he did not seem to notice it, he had stated two
irreconcilable propositions. Many changes, more freedom.
Absalom dreams. Dreams of what should be, of what will be: 'This is
what I will do,' he says. But to fulfill those dreams, he must have
the people's cooperation. Ah, this is the point men overlook. Such
dreams rest totally on the premise that the people of God will be
with the new leader, that all will see as he sees. Such men can
envision no problems in there own future kingdom. What will
Absalom do when people stop following him willingly? Ah, now there is
You see, there is no kingdom without discord. Even God had His
critics in heaven, you know. All kingdoms follow a bumpy course.
In the spiritual realm, a man who will lead a rebellion has
already proven, no matter how grandiose his words or angelic his ways,
that he has a critical nature, an unprincipled character, and hidden
motives in his heart. Frankly, he is a thief. He creates
dissatisfaction and tension within the realm, and then either seizes
power or siphons off followers. The followers he gets, he uses to
found his own dominion. Such a sorry beginning, built on the
foundation of insurrection...No, God never honors division
in His realm. "I find it curious that men who feel qualified to
split God's kingdom do not feel capable of going somewhere else, to
another land, to raise up a completely new kingdom. No, they must
steal from another leader. I have never seen the exception. They
seem always to need at least a few pre-packaged followers.
Beginning empty-handed and alone frightens the best of men. It also
speaks volumes of just how sure they are that God is with them. Their
every word, if seen true, tells of their insecurity.
There are many lands unspoiled and unpossessed. There are many
people in other places waiting to follow a true king, a true man of
God. I repeat myself. Why don't 'would-be kings and prophets'
simply walk quietly away, alone, find another people in another place,
and there raise up the kingdom they envision?
Men who lead rebellions in the spiritual world are unworthy men.
There are no exceptions.
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