The Power Of Human Sentiments

“Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that hate the Lord? Therefore is wrath upon thee from before the Lord.” 2 Chronicles 19:2

“If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26

God is the author of all good graces. Therefore, we must let Him tell us how to use them. To not do so, will result in our being confused about what it is to be on the Lord’s side.

The account of Absalom demonstrates this well. In Absalom’s thinking, he was justified in being a law unto himself.

For two years, he concealed his hatred of Amnon by saying nothing. (2 Samuel 13:22-23) Then Absalom ordered his servants to kill Amnon, v28; then Absalom fled, v34. He was gone three years, v38. Absalom never did repent of his wrong doing, nor even admit it.

After three years, David’s sentiments changed from mourning for his murdered son, unto “longing” to go forth unto Absalom, v39. Joab perceived this change of sentiments and arranged for the king to be persuaded that it was alright to bring Absalom home, even using references of how God restores His erring, 2 Samuel 14:14. So with David’s sentiments and the thoughts of God’s forgiveness, David ordered Absalom to be brought home, v21. Absalom, a murderer, was brought home without admitting any wrong doing.

Because of Absalom’s beauty, he garnered the sentiments of the people, v25. By now, Absalom has become acutely aware of the power that having the sentiments of others has afforded him. Without ever admitting wrong doing for having murdered Amnon, he gets by with boldly demanding to be fully restored to his princely status with the king, v32-33. “Either kill me, or restore me”, played directly to his father’s sentiments.

Absalom is now the favored prince in Israel (2 Samuel 15), openly making claims that he would be the people’s judge if put in power. His motives were never questioned, because he has favorable sentiments from both the king and the people, AND he knows how to take advantage of them.

With this power (in the hearts and minds of others favoring him), he conspires to overthrow, kill, and take the kingdom away from David. However, this led to his own destruction.

Absalom’s strategy: he was not about to repent or admit wrong doing, for he knew that the sentiments of others would favor him to the extent of accomplishing what he wanted. SAD, BUT TRUE!

David’s sentiments greatly confused him, even when Absalom was seeking to kill him, 2 Samuel 18:5 & 19:5-6.