The history of Absalom concludes today: we learned that it was the father’s (or other delegated authority’s) sin which brought forth the rebellion from his son (or underling). Rebellion is the fruit borne by the sowing of a seed, it does not just spring up out of nowhere. However, this is why children are admonished to honor their parents and to carefully obey them, with warnings: rebellion also carries destructive consequences with it. He who rebels against the LORD’s anointed (whether father, king, priest, or prophet) calls forth destruction on his own head.
Another thing we can see from today’s reading is that rebels make mistakes. Absalom was deceived in the counsel he chose to listen to. This is because when someone rebels, they go outside of God’s chain of command and conduit of blessing. Authority carries blessing with it. Women and children are under the authority of husbands and fathers, not to harm them, but to bless them. God made men physically strong so that they can protect those under them from harm, or so that they can provide for their needs. The one who wields authority has been entrusted with that authority in order to bless others.
So God’s chain of command is set up to provide a conduit of blessing to flow from Himself to those who are the most vulnerable. The chain goes from God —-> Fathers —> Children, or God —> King —> Citizens.
Notice that the father or king is under someone of greater authority than himself. He is charged to obey God. When he does, the blessing that follows obedience comes upon him, but does not stop with him — he becomes a conduit. Then God’s blessing continues on to the children or the citizens, when they also obey him who is in authority over them.
Jesus said, when He encountered a Roman centurion who understood the spiritual principle of authority, that He had not met with such great faith even in Israel (Mat 8:5-13). He commended him for his faith. Faith, because you have to trust God in order to believe that submitting to another human will result in blessing for you.
(What to do when an authority abuses his power is another e-mail, but of course, the Bible provides that answer also. By the way, if someone reading this is in authority and is abusing that authority — you are in grave danger. God hates all sin, but He really hates the abuse of authority, and you have made God your enemy. Repent while there is still time, and learn from His word the proper exercise of your authority, to save your own life!)
So David stepped outside of the conduit of God’s blessing when he disobeyed God and provoked his son to wrath by his unjust and unloving behavior. Then Absalom stepped outside of the conduit of God’s blessing when he disobeyed David and mounted a rebellion against the king. Whenever someone disobeys God- ordained authority, then they step outside of the conduit of God’s blessing – the blessing bypasses them. Cursing becomes their lot then. They become prone to foolishness and mistakes, and the sad thing is, they will think they are doing the wisest thing possible. By their action of rebellion or dishonor, they themselves opened the door for deception to settle in their life.
The next thing we see in the conclusion of this story, is that the godly authority whose heart is after God, will always want to sacrifice himself for the sake of those under him. David cried, “O Absalom, my son, my son! Would that I had died in your place!” That heart of self sacrifice is God’s heart, and is what God (the ultimate authority for the whole world) did, in that He died on the cross for the sins of the whole world. And it is also a spiritual principle that those who wield authority do so to serve and not to be served (Mat 20:25-28).