Superficial Beauty

2 Samuel 14:25-15:30

But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. Psalm 3:3.

With the memory ever before him of his own transgression of the law of God, David seemed morally paralyzed; he was weak and irresolute, when before his sin he had been courageous and decided. His influence with the people had been weakened. And all this favored the designs of his unnatural son….

While the king was more and more inclined to desire retirement and solitude, Absalom sedulously courted the popular favor…. Day by day this man of noble mien might be seen at the gate of the city, where a crowd of suppliants waited to present their wrongs for redress. Absalom mingled with them and listened to their grievances, expressing sympathy with their sufferings and regret at the inefficiency of the government.

By his remarkable beauty, winning manners, and pretended kindness, he cunningly stole the hearts of the people. He did not possess benevolence at heart, but was ambitious and, as his course shows, would resort to intrigue and crime to obtain the kingdom. He would have returned his father’s love and kindness by taking his life. He was proclaimed king by his followers in Hebron, and led them out to pursue his father.

In humility and sorrow David passed out of the gate of Jerusalem—driven from his throne, from his palace, from the ark of God, by the insurrection of his cherished son. The people followed in long, sad procession, like a funeral train.

Many who see not as God seeth, but view matters from man’s standpoint, might reason that with David there might have been excuse for repining and that the sincerity of his repentance years before might have excepted him from present judgment…. David utters no complaint. The most eloquent psalm he ever sang was when he was climbing Mount Olivet, weeping and barefooted, yet humbled in spirit, unselfish and generous, submissive and resigned.

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