Daily D – 2 Samuel 18:18
During his lifetime, Absalom had built a monument to himself in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to carry on my name.” He named the monument after himself, and it is known as Absalom’s Monument to this day. 2 SAMUEL 18:18 (NLT)
Absalom would have made a good Kardashian. If he lived today, he would be featured on all the entertainment television shows. Stories about him would fill the gossip magazines. Tabloids would wonder if he would ever find love, true love.
Absalom was tall and good looking with long, lustrous hair. He probably had all of his teeth, too. Every woman gazed at him. Every man envied him. Absalom was shrewd, cunning, and manipulative. Absalom was all about Absalom. He loved him some him.
Absalom was the kind of guy who filled his home with mirrors and put them to good use. Absalom no doubt employed a personal stylist. Absalom was most likely conscious of his clothing and modeled all the latest fashions. Absalom’s favorite song was from Lion King: “I just can’t wait to be king.”
Absalom killed one of his brothers. Absalom betrayed his father. Absalom ran the Giant Killer out of town. Absalom set up a tent on the roof and slept with his father’s concubines. Absalom wanted to deliver the death blow to his dad.
Absalom set up a monument to himself along monument row so that everyone would always remember him. How could they forget? Absalom made sure he went down in everyone’s memories forever.
Absalom went down all right.
Absalom’s pride and vanity got him stuck in a tree by his hair and pierced through with four daggers and who knows how many sword thrusts. Absalom got a second monument in his honor. Absalom was thrown into a pit where large rocks were piled over his body. Absalom would have been proud of having such an extravagant grave which required so much effort to build.
Don’t be like Absalom. Instead, use your unearned characteristics to win friends and build healthy, wholesome, helpful relationships. Instead of manipulating, cultivate listening ears and ask powerful questions . Instead of charming people into submission, serve them with compassion. Instead of living a life endlessly fascinated with yourself, become the world’s foremost expert in the ones who are closest to you. Instead of seeking endless personal gain, find a way to honor God and serve others. Instead of building monuments on earth, lay up treasure in heaven.
Instead of betrayal and blood lust, choose loyalty and deference. Instead of dying from vanity, live with humility. Instead of making sure everyone knows and remembers your name, empower others to live up to the highest meaning of their own names.
Pride kills. Humility maximizes life.
I will choose the path of humility.
Our Father, I will not live a life that is all about me. You are everything. More of you; less of me. Amen.
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6 Then the LORD spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you
The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Job 40:6–14.
Job 29:21-25 21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.