As the spate of evil rage continues in the country, one is tempted to become numb and increasingly less sensitive to acts of terrorism … as consciences harden even as children are killed and we are exhausted of being admonished to forgive. Hearts are weary and can only offer a lingering suspicion of news of cease-fire. Our gratitude is for self-preservation and our faith seems to distance us from the sufferings of the afflicted. The terrorist has chosen the right target… “Not Me”.
But there are other elements of terror I want to concern myself with … the concealed types spoiling the body of Christ. I am not referring to the zealous preacher whose fiery words may have caused explosions of doubt, sorrow and fear … or the one who enters the temple chasing off trouble makers in a somewhat similar fashion to when Christ drove off the money changers. This terror is more complex and calculating.
Ahithophel the Gilonite, is father to Eliam (2 Sam. 23:34) …Eliam, who also happens to have been one of David’s mighty men (listed in 2 Samuel 23) and father to a beautiful damsel called Bathsheba, married to Uriah the Hittite. A good story until David’s idle and wandering eyes, even without binoculars, catches the nudity of this irresistible beauty bathing in broad daylight. The rest of this drama is well documented in scripture.
2Sa 11:3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
Many years have passed … the old sage Ahithophel is now David’s trusted Counsellor … Absalom – the charismatic prince who has no son (maybe he has daughters) but has stolen the hearts of Israel and has vowed to be great …proactively erecting for himself (2 Sam 18:18) an impressive monument. Soon the hearts of two terrorists melt together in a perfect conspiracy that sends David scampering off like a weeping weakling.
2Sa 18:18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and reared up for himself a pillar, which is in the king’s dale: for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance: and he called the pillar after his own name: and it is called unto this day, Absalom’s place
We do not know completely the nature of the bitterness and unresolved injustices that festered in the hearts of Ahithophel and Absalom – or how long…but the Bible leaves some tips … possibly it was an unaddressed hunger for gain and power raging for years… or the humiliation of seeing his widowed granddaughter forced into David’s boudoir … or for the handsome Absalom, was it his barrenness of a heir …or a lust for a blessing from his father that never came. Bitterness is the primary element that defines all terrorists…some unresolved injustice allowed to simmer over the years. These are the devil’s suicide bombers … targeted without fail to destroy everything in their path …most especially itself. Both Ahithophel and Absalom ended horribly …Absalom’s body is thrown into a pit, instead of the grand memorial he planned. Ahithophel, who with a little patience may have lived to see his great grandson Solomon crowned as King after David… hangs himself. God eventually terminates all his wise traps.
I do not pray for the demise of any, but warn that long suffering, patience, humility and contentment will defend the broken from being recruited into a mischievous destiny. Be wary of a sense of entitlement and subtle feelings of superiority that creep in immediately you perceive and coronate yourself to be irreplaceable regency instead of mere sand. When you begin to think people are lucky to have met you or you become attached to titles, encomiums and honors, soon a root of unresolved entitlement germinates. Pray that God sends enough experiences to toss you into a wilderness of nothingness or to give you a thorn if that is the only way you will be preserved to an unblemished end.
External foes and terrorists are not my worry. God soon arises as He always does to scatter His enemies when our obedience is complete. Rather, the pain of watching hidden terrors long incubating in brethren bringing to self-destruction and causing much havoc to others, is much more traumatic. Have you seen the memorials to men that litter the spiritual landscape as celebrity preaching becomes the norm? Impotent Absaloms with no true sons … destined for termination.
There is a solution … do not hang yourself pursuing evil industry…instead, pray that God gives all a sweet and pure heart that forgives and forgets all that it must – including and especially many past injustices that have made you obsessed with your peculiar definition of success which is only a creation of your unresolved past hurts and social poverty. Pray that God will give you a new uncommonly enlarged heart of flesh in a New Revival experience … the heart of a worshipper who cares more about God’s plans than anything or anyone else …. seeking the old paths of waiting on God, obedience, humility and pure service.
2Sa 15:25 And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me again, and shew me both it, and his habitation: 26 But if he thus say, I have no delight in thee; behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him.
Lord, preserve us from the spoilage and traps of the physical and spiritual terrorist. Lord give us grace that our ways truly delight you as you arise to put an end to the rage of terrorism in the land. May we all keep moving forward. May God guide our elders, rulers and government at times like this. God give us sons …youth that are like David who truly know thee. Deliver us from selfishness. Amen