The spirit of Absalom
"A messenger came and told David, 'The hearts of the people of Israel are with Absalom.'"(2 Sam. 15:13)
In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the magisterium teaches that honoring leaders falls under the 4th commandment, "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.” (Exodus 20:12) Once again, we reap what we sow (Gal. 6)- honour father and mother, and God will bless you. Honor leaders, and God will bless you.
2238 Those subject to authority should regard those in authority as representatives of God, who has made them stewards of his gifts: "Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution. . . . Live as free men, yet without using your freedom as a pretext for evil; but live as servants of God." Their loyal collaboration includes the right, and at times the duty, to voice their just criticisms of that which seems harmful to the dignity of persons and to the good of the community.
Notice how sometimes children, as well as those under authority, sometimes may be required out of conscience to voice their resistance to forms of abuse. Obedience is not dumb following of orders for their own sake... Yet, "He that troubleth his own house, shall inherit the winds: and the fool shall serve the wise." (Prov. 11:19) Absalom was downright rebellious.
The Family Tree
Part of the story, of course, is the family tree. David, beloved of God, fell into sin with Bathsheba. They were both at fault- David for not avoiding temptation, and Bathsheba for bathing where she knew David would see her, to entice him. Scripture declares that breaking the commandments brings judgment on the d
escendants, to the third and fourth generation (Exodus 20). Following God's commands brings blessing to the thousandth generation. Hallelujah.
David sins with Bathsheba, then Bathsheba conceives a son, who dies. David knows it is because he sinned. Yet, there is not only trouble among the sons of Bathsheba, but also among David's children from his other wives. They are still, after all, David's descendants. Of course, because of God's love for David, He redeems this broken family history through the birth of Jesus, which is why Matthew the Gospel writer puts such a great emphasis on Jesus' geneology.
David's sin causes trouble in his house, when one of his sons, Amnon begins to lust for his half-sister, Tamar. "Amnon was David's first-born son, born from his wife Ahinoam the Jezreelitess (2 Samuel 3:2). Being the first-born, Amnon was the crown prince – first in line for the throne of Israel." (Enduring Word Commentary) "The first born is holy to the Lord," (Exodus 13:2) Yet, all people have a free will: Amnon falls through sin. Among Jacob's sons, Joseph was lifted up the highest, not Ruben, the first-born. Who will be faithful and loyal to God? is the question.
David, perhaps, was too lenient on his firstborn son Amnon; he does not punish him for raping his half-sister Tamar, although Scripture says he was infuriated. Absalom, Tamar's full brother, in what he probably believed was righteous anger, engineered the murder of his half-brother Amnon when David did nothing to punish him.
Therefore, Absalom had an anger problem, even to the point of violence and murder. He had a problem with forgiving his father.
He was also apparently vain, taking pride in his own perceived beauty:
"In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. 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)
Unfortunately, this vanity was also his downfall:
"Now Absalom happened to meet David’s men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going." (2 Samuel 18:9)
The spirit of Absalom that afflicts the Church today is the same spirit that controlled Absalom in the Old Testament. There are those who blindly follow the Pope's every word, for instance on the one hand, and on the other hand, there are those who stir up strife within the Church against him. Where are the loyal children who will stand up and say what needs to be said, but still honour the Holy Father?
Have You Seen Absalom?
David Williams provides a list of attributes of the Absalom spirit:
"Absalom is an imposter—a usurper
People who possess the Absalom spirit are typically frustrated with their lives, their ministries, or their perceived level in life.
They often search for value in personal pursuits rather than in God Himself and thus become like the man Solomon described.
Ecclesiastes 5:17 NLT Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud—frustrated, discouraged, and angry.
They frequently imagine they deserve more recognition than what their achievements merit. (2 Samuel 18:18 AMPL)
Here are some Indicators of an Absalom Spirit:
Big dreams, but blame others, for blocking those dreams.
They feel their perceived level of wisdom is being ignored, or their super gifts are not being put to use.
They have false criteria—Absalom had a way of judging everything by his own criteria.
A modern Absalom gets offended at leadership, then, secretly arranges the subtle “execution” of the leader’s reputation, achievements, or integrity.
An Absalom spirit typically harbors camouflaged bitterness, unresolved offenses, disappointments, and anger.
An Absalom spirit thrives on hidden agendas, concealed strategies, and secret alliances.
Absalom is a master of manipulation and flattery.
Absalom feeds his followers with his fault-finding and critical spirit.
An Absalom spirit exhibits false humility, yet proudly believes he is wiser and better than the appointed leader. (2 Samuel 15:5)
When an Absalom spirit is at work in a church or business, you will notice turmoil, confusion, and will probably experience a twisted stomach and a bombardment of your thought life because of the demonic release an Absalom spirit.
St. Paul spoke of this rebellious spirit becoming more dominant as we approach the Lord’s coming.
2 Thessalonians 2:7 AMPL For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world …"
The spirit of Absalom afflicts the Church by bringing division. Perhaps it afflicted Judas, who sinned with women and money. Absalom wanted to rule the kingdom, even though he wasn't the firstborn son. He caused David the most anguish of any of his children, dividing the kingdom by winning the hearts of the people to himself, against his own father, who was the Lord's anointed. (2 Sam. 15:13) Scripture is very clear- "Do not touch My anointed ones, And do My prophets no harm.” (Psalm 105:15)
Absalom had unforgiveness for his half-brother Amnon, and his father, David. (2 Sam. 13:32) Perhaps Judas did, also; he couldn't seem to understand Jesus' methods. (John 12:5) This unforgiveness and bitterness led to his destruction. Scripture says that "Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem without seeing the king’s face." (2 Sam. 14:28) He turned against his father, God's anointed leader, and he was ultimately killed, to David's horror. David loved him to the end.
David Williams also teaches how to deal with the Absalom spirit:
How to Deal with This Spirit:
Leaders must exercise the gift of discerning of spirits (I Corinthians 12:10).
Proverbs 21:12 MSG A God-loyal person will see right through the wicked and undo the evil they’ve planned.
Proper role modeling. If the rest of the sheep see you hobnobbing with Absalom, then they will think it is okay.
You must be a protector. Protect the sheep from being kissed by Absalom. Wolves don’t come dressed as wolves, but sheep. Doing nothing will guarantee that Absalom will worm his way into the seat of authority.
Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Proverbs 20:26 MSG After careful scrutiny, a wise leader makes a clean sweep of rebels and dolts.
Stop tolerating their antics. Put an end to the Absalom spirit. Remember, this is a demonic spirit you are dealing with. Their involvement is coming against God’s established authority and seeking to divide His kingdom. Nehemiah, for example, refused to give in to the antics of the Absalom personalities trying to distract him.
The Absalom spirit seems to be strengthened if it appears as though the pastor or leader is paranoid or weak.
Don’t give them a place in the life of your ministry or business. The only fruitful way to deal with an Absalom is to cut him off.
Avoid promoting people until their true character is proven, and never put someone with Absalom characteristics in any place of leadership or authority.
Be on guard and mark those who cause division and avoid them.
Pray for them. Set up intercessors you trust to hold special times of prayer. I believe, through our prayers, many will be delivered from these spirits and be fruitful once again in the kingdom of God.
Know this: their own pride will bring them down
2 Samuel 18:9, 14 His head got caught in the Terebinth tree; so he was left hanging … Joab … took three spears in his hand and thrust them through Absalom’s heart.
Proverbs 16:18 Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall."
Let us ask God for the grace to be free from unforgiveness and bitterness. May He free us all from the spirit of Absalom, which afflicts the Church, parishes, ministries, families, businesses, etc. May God's leaders be honored. Join us in a prayer for healing of the heart, as well as physical healing below:
This interview was an incredible opportunity for us, for which we thank God and Angela and Larry Greenig (angelagreenig.com). Angela is an anointed prophet of God whom we have known a long time, who loves Mother Mary and the Pope.
Continue to have a blessed Advent seeking a deeper relationship with the Lord and His healing grace!
In the Father's Love,
Lee Anne and Daniel Devine, M. Div
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