(Artwork by John Steel?)
In reading 2 Samuel, I came to the notorious story of Absalom's conspiracy to take the throne from his father, David. This all starts in chapter 15 where we are given a description of his initial tactics and then verse 6 says, And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. (2Samuel 15:6) A look at his methods might prove profitable to us today when there are so many who would usurp the Lord and the authorities He has set in place in the New Testament.
1. His first step was to make himself appear important - actually more important than he was. 2Samuel 15:1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. Beware of men and women who make themselves more important than they really are. There are many "experts" these days who want us to think that they are essential to our understanding because they are very important people with a very important message. Self-aggrandizing behavior is not the basis for real usefulness or respectability. Doug Phillips, recent leader of the late Vision Forum, is a prime example of this. He put himself often into the place of honor, when in reality he was making himself an alternate authority, usurping the authority of Jesus Christ and God's word. Psalms 49:16-20 Be not thou afraid when one is made rich, when the glory of his house is increased; For when he dieth he shall carry nothing away: his glory shall not descend after him. Though while he lived he blessed his soul: and men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself. He shall go to the generation of his fathers; they shall never see light. Man that is in honour, and understandeth not, is like the beasts that perish.