Daily D – 2 Samuel 18:18
2 Samuel 18:18 During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.” He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.
I wonder what Absalom’s relationship with Solomon was like? Proverbs 27:2 sounds like it may have been written in memory of Absalom. Check it out:
Absalom raised a monument to himself. Joab and his men raised a monument of stone over his dead body.
Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes.
2 Samuel 18:17 NIV
It appears Absalom set up his monument early in his life. He says, “I have no son to carry on the memory of my name,” but 2 Samuel 14:27 says, “Three sons and a daughter were born to Absalom.” Either he set up the monument early in his life or he didn’t feel like his sons measured up to his personal majesty.
From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him.
Whenever he cut the hair of his head—he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him—he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard.
2 Samuel 14:25-26 NIV
His narcissism was his undoing. Read 2 Samuel 17:1-14 and see the problem. Ahithophel offered sound strategy. Hushai offered contrary advice playing to Absalom’s vanity. Absalom determined he would follow his own star.
Absalom’s story ends in a tale of two monuments. There is the monument he set up to himself, and there is the monument others set up over his dead body.
Absalom allowed his unearned characteristics to take him places he did not have the character to occupy. He followed his desire for greatness to his own demise.
Here is wisdom: Don’t be Absalom.
I will think about myself less.
Our Father, thank you for the life lessons of Absalom. There is nothing good about me that did not originate with you. I may be better than ten thousand others in something, but ten thousand others are better than me in ten thousand other things. Deliver me from the desire to be celebrated. Empower me to celebrate others instead. As Count von Zinzendorf said, I want to “Preach the gospel, die, and be forgotten.” It’s all about you, your mercy, and your grace. Like John the Baptist said in John 3:30, “More Jesus; less me.” Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.