The differences between David and Absalom had become colossal in the five years previous. Father had grown more tractable; son more intransigent. Father willing to admit past mistakes and sins; son demanding blood for every hour spent in forced exile. Father feeling good about son’s restoration; ego-driven son denying any reconciliation.
The most damaging dimension of Absalom’s sudden desire to visit Hebron was the lethal danger he posed to David’s reign. The young rebel had both gained an immeasurable self-esteem and lost complete respect and fear of his king, a deadly combination. And now, free from oversight, the reckless adventurer sped afoot in the land, wreaking havoc wherever he pleased. And he pleased to be a political revolutionary. If David thought peace had come, he would soon be disabused.
A point to ponder. We can, like David, fail to discern people’s true nature through a misplaced affection for them. It blinds us to the harm they can cause others, if not to us. Here David failed as leader. Until he became the bulls-eye of Absalom’s wickedness, David didn’t calculate his danger to law and order in the land. Leadership must always have the welfare of the entire group, not a few individuals in it, in mind. Only that empowers success in isolating divisive, ego-driven people.
God faced the same problem with humanity’s rebellion against him. Should he respond by damning each sinner? Or should he, like David, wink at our spiritual violence?
That’s a question as relevant now as in the Garden of Eden. And there God revealed his immediate answer: an animal had to perish in order to forgive the First couple. Only later would God reveal his FINAL answer. Someone had to be accountable for sin, and God made Jesus, “who had no sin to be sin for us” II Corinthians 5:21. As he became sin for us in those hours on Calvary he freed us from sin’s penalty to delight in his forgiveness.
In one act God solved both the problem of our sin, his justice and his desire to SAVE by Grace, not CONDEMN by Law. End Part II