2Samuel 16-18

Daily Reading

2Samuel 16-18

Daily Thought

Absalom, the son of David, was pretty and proud, and, for a moment, stole the hearts of the people and his father’s crown. “Now in all Israel there was no one so much to be praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he cut the hair of his head (for at the end of every year he used to cut it; when it was heavy on him, he cut it), he weighed the hair of his head, two hundred shekels by the king’s weight (2Samuel 14:25-26). The custom of royalty was to drench one’s hair in fragrant oils, braiding in gold dust and jewels and piling it high above the head as a crown of glory. Absalom had an abundance of glory on his head. That glory would be his downfall.

“Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself the pillar that is in the King’s Valley, for he said, ‘I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.’ He called the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom’s monument to this day” (2Samuel 18:18). Absalom desperately wanted his name remembered, and it is. Mention to a Sunday School class the name Absalom and they will tell you about David’s son, and they will tell you about his long and beautiful hair, and then they will giggle, because he got it stuck in a tree. “Absalom was riding on his mule, and the mule went under the thick branches of a great oak, and his head caught fast in the oak, and he was suspended between heaven and earth, while the mule that was under him went on” (2Samuel 18:9).

While he dangled, David’s soldiers discussed what to do until Joab “took three javelins in his hand and thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the oak” (2Samuel 18:14). Thus the crown returned to the rightful king David. Absalom wanted his name remembered, and it is. How it is remembered should have mattered more.

Daily Prayer

Father God, protect my heart from seeking my own benefit. Whenever I seek my own, it costs somebody something. May I learn to live completely content with the riches I have in You, so that I will be someone who seeks to serve rather than be served.

I have learned love, the highest love, sacrificial giving love, from You. You who knew no sin became sin so that I might be brought into Your family. You delight in me. There is nothing I can add to Your worth or Your wealth. You have no need of my offerings or my sacrifices. All that I am, God, comes from You. I am happiest when I pursue what You have created me to do. Take my desires God and shape them to Your will. You delight in me. I long to delight in You. May I desire You fully forever.

Amen

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