By Tope Banso
“After four years, Absalom said to the king, ‘Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the LORD in fulfillment of a vow I made to him. For while I was at Geshur, I promised to sacrifice to him in Hebron if he would bring me back to Jerusalem'” (2 Samuel 15:7-8 New Living Translation).
Deceitful people often try to use what their victims love to deceive them. For example, they may tell them what they like to hear, and they’ll believe them. They get carried away by their lies. What do you love? Be careful that deceitful people don’t use it to exploit you.
David had a heart for God. His son, Absalom, who was plotting a rebellion, must have known his father very well. Therefore, he deceived him by giving him the impression that he also loved God! He was a hypocrite.
Four years after he had returned to Jerusalem, from the exile that he had fled to after killing his half brother, the eldest son of David, Amnon, he lied to his father. 2 Samuel 15:7-8 says, “After four years, Absalom said to the king, ‘Let me go to Hebron to offer a sacrifice to the LORD in fulfillment of a vow I made to him. For while I was at Geshur, I promised to sacrifice to him in Hebron if he would bring me back to Jerusalem’” (New Living Translation).
He probably knew that David would give him permission to travel if he gave a vow he had made, which had been due for payment four years earlier, as his reason for wanting to go to Hebron. He, therefore, lied to him about this, as part of the plan for his revolt (2 Samuel 15:9-13).
He succeeded in seizing power from David. David and his loyalists had to flee Jerusalem. Absalom was in charge for a period until his rebellion was put down and he was killed in the process.
Absalom deceived his father. He told him what he would like to hear. Why did he have to wait for four years to pay his purported vow? He probably knew that David never joked about the payment of vows. He would not delay in paying his vows to the LORD.
In Psalm 56, which David is believed to have written regarding the time the Philistines seized him in Gath, he said in verses 12-13, “I will fulfill my vows to you, O God, and offer a sacrifice of thanks for your help. For you have rescued me from death; you have kept my feet from slipping. So now I can walk in your presence, O God, in your life-giving light” (New Living Translation).
Earlier in Psalm 22:25, he said, “I will praise you among all the people; I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you” (New Living Translation).
Why did Absalom choose Hebron as the place to pay his supposed vow? It could be that David had a sentimental attachment to Hebron, which Absalom was probably aware of and used to deceive him. David had been king in Hebron over the house of Judah for seven years and six months (2 Samuel 2:11) before he became the king of the entire nation of Israel, captured Jerusalem and made it his capital (1 Chronicles 11:4-8). In addition, six children, including Absalom, were born to him in Hebron (1 Chronicles 3:1-4).
Deceivers will seek to manipulate or take advantage of you, using what you love or you’re emotionally attached to. If you love prayers, prophecies, titles, human praises, children, etc, they may use any of these to deceive you. Be careful! Don’t be carried away. Listen to what they’ve said, and what they’ve not said. Don’t be deceived by their actions or utterances. They may have a hidden agenda or an ulterior motive. Don’t just read between the lines; listen to the Holy Spirit.
Beware! Isaac was deceived because of his love for meat from the field! He had suspected a foul play because the meat was brought to him earlier than normal. “Then Isaac said to Jacob, ‘Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not.’ So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, ‘The voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau’” (Genesis 27:21-22).
He still perceived something was wrong and asked Jacob if he was really his son, Esau. Despite these doubts, he went ahead to bless the deceiver, Jacob, because of the meat he had brought for him to eat (verses 24-25).
Be careful! Don’t let your enemies use your strength, weakness or love against you. Don’t let your strength become your weakness! Don’t let what you love become the enemy’s trap for you.
PRAYER POINT: Father, expose every deceit around me. Let me not be a deceitful person.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For more inspiring messages, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪ Banso, an Abuja-based minister can be reached at Cedar Ministry International, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947