The Absalom Spirit

2 Samuel 15:2-6 – And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?” And when he said, “Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,” Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.” Then Absalom would say, “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.” And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

Absalom was one of the many sons of King David. His sister Tamar was sexually assaulted by their half-brother Amnon, who further dishonored her by rejecting her. To care for his sister, Absalom had his sister live with him while expecting their father, David, to care for and protect his daughter. For two years David did nothing for Tamar, and Absalom seethed with bitterness against David and Amnon.

Absalom murdered his half-brother. With the father wound unhealed, Absalom began a covert campaign to usurp his father, David, and take the throne. Over time “Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” He succeeded in overthrowing his father, which forced King David to flee.

Absalom was so bitter that he personally led the charge to kill his father. This gave David time to prepare and rout Absalom’s forces. While fleeing the battle on a mule, Absalom’s long hair got caught in some oak tree branches, which killed him. This was not what David wanted, because he still loved his son, and David grieved the death of Absalom.

An unhealed father wound that invites the Absalom spirit compels men (and sometimes women) to believe that if they were in the position of highest leadership, they would do a better job of defending the hurting and caring for the needy. As a result, they seek to form unholy alliances and overthrow established governance. This can be a son overtaking a father in the home, a spiritual son overtaking a spiritual father in a church, or a team member overtaking a leader in an organization.

Though evil and proud, it is done in the name of love, care, and protection, much like Satan, who felt he could do a better job than God and had angels who felt the same.

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