He was his father’s beloved, the King’s adored son and heir apparent to the throne. He was so affectionately loved that he became a spoiled prince. More so, his excessive good-looking cleverly won him the heart of all the people. Yes, he was a stunning royalty, for from his long, massive flowing hairs to his sexy countenance and down to the nails on his feet, the Prince was an epitome of extraordinary elegance. Prince Absalom was the most handsome young man in the country, and he knew it.
The story of Absalom, David’s third son, goes beyond his elegant structure and attractive face. His story needs our in-depth evaluation. For beneath Absalom’s beautiful face was a dark, ugly heart of a rebel. Let’s examine the manifestations of this heart in his life:
The first manifestation of the handsome rebel is a vengeful, unforgiving spirit
We saw this in Absalom. You remember Absalom’s involvement in the case of his sister Tamar and half-brother Amnon? Oh, you’ve got to be reminded of this sad episode. Tamar was beautiful, and Amnon lusted after her; later, he cleverly arranged to have her come to his house, where he raped her and thereafter put her out of his house in disgrace.
When Absalom heard of the shameful incidence, he took his sister Tamar in to live with him. For the next two years, Absalom was still nursing a hatred toward his half-brother, Amnon. Absalom later invited Amnon to his house for a party, and then, during the partying, had him killed by his servants in cold blood. This marked the beginning of the reign of the handsome rebel in the palace.
All rebels are unforgiving by nature. They must revenge whatever offence or sin committed against them. Mark it! That your unforgiving friend might be the most dangerous rebel to walk out with. Beware of friends and partners who wouldn’t forgive when offended. Check out through the palaces of this world. It’s the same story of unforgiving and vengeance in socio-political settings in all nations of the globe.
Among the military, you see vengeance cutting through relationships and governments. You murdered his father in a coup d’etat twenty years ago, then he purposely joined the army to avenged the blood of his father! You messed up with his girlfriend in the barrack, then he mobilized rebels to get you toppled. You renegaded on contract terms or swindled his money, and he gathered rebels to overthrow your government. It’s the same spirit of unforgiving and vengeance seeking still hunt the nations, churches, organizations and even clubs.
2. The next manifestation of the handsome rebel is resentment and displeasure
You remember that Absalom, after killing his brother ran away to Geshur. Though while he was away his father’s loving heart “longed to go out to Absalom”, he stayed there for three years until Joab was able to persuade the King to bring him back. Through Joab’s intercession, the two men got back together in a little reconciliation.
Unfortunately, this peace between the king and his prince did not last because the handsome rebel was resenting his father’s hesitancy to bring him home. As a result of his resentment against King David, Absalom began to stealthily undermine his father’s rule.
David must have learned it too late that you can’t satisfy the handsome rebel, no, not even with state pardon. The rebellion heart of handsome rebels would resent any kind gestures. So it’s vain trying to satisfy and please a man whose heart is filled with its own ways. All handsome rebels are stubborn arrogant men who must go their own evil ways.
The third manifestation of the handsome rebel is conspiracy
We begin to see this in Absalom when he set himself up as judge, performing the duty of a welfare prince in Jerusalem. He shew the sharp-wittedness of conspirator when he started giving out promises of what he would do if he were king. After four years of doing this, he went to Hebron, where he had secretly arranged to have himself proclaimed king. This is the way conspirators work.
The conspiracy got stronger as Absalom’s followers grew in number. It got to a point where King David became fearful of his dear life, gather his loyal ones and fled Jerusalem city. However, David left behind some of his concubines and a few informers such as Hushai, Zadok, and Abiathar.
Conspiracy is the way of handsome rebels. Note it well. Be it in friendship, neighborhood, association, workplace, church, community or nation, conspirators ‘wisely’ plot against their targets. And the target, often, is the leadership. They do machinate against the leaders and the thrones that be, conniving secretly in conspiracy of silence with ‘birds of same fathers’. They plot to actualize their goal or mission of insurgency, revolt and rebellion.
Fourth is the manifestation of the handsome rebel is revolt and defiance
Absalom, the handsome rebel mobilized and led his rebel army from Hebron to Jerusalem the seat of power. Rebels in the palace? Yes, Absalom the handsome prince became a rebel leader in the royal palace of his own father, David. It was a revolutionary. revolt from a spoiled royalty.
But the Absalom rebellion had something more than a revolt – abominable defiance. For as soon as he gained entrance to the city and the palace as king, the first thing he did was to openly sleep with his father’s concubines. What could have moved him to commit such abomination? Did he sought to consolidate his position by first taking over his father’s house and sleeping with his father’s concubines? Whatever his reason be, we need to note that, in his day, this defiance was an act considered abominable and unforgiveable. No wonder, the sad end of the handsome rebel.
The fifth manifestation is insurgency or war
As soon as Absalom seated on the throne of David, he laid plans to immediately pursue and attack his forces. ‘David must died, if he I must have a lasting reign’, he must have muttered to himself. But the idea of engaging in hot pursue after David was later abandoned owing to the counsel of Hushai. This caused a little delay. Meanwhile, while Absalom army was still strategizing on how to deal with the runaway king, David, now in wilderness, was mustering how his troops could mount a counterattack to retake the kingdom. Eventually, Absalom declared the war and led his troops against his father in the wilderness. Joab led the King’s troops to meet him at warfront.
David was not allowed to fight in the counter war that eventually claimed the life of Absalom, the handsome rebel. And on how he died; it was God fighting for David the king. For while Absalom was riding under some trees, his long, massive hairs got entangled in the branches, and he was unhorsed. Joab found him suspended in mid-air and slaughtered him right there. This was the end of the road for Absalom, the handsome rebel.
Ignoble death would always be the end of all rebels – both handsome and ugly rebels. Ignoble death is the end of those who kick against God’s established authorities. It was so in the wilderness when 250 elderness rose in rebellion against Moses. They all died the death of shame as fire came down and consumed them and their families.
With the death of the handsome rebel, peace and prosperity returned to the Jerusalem palace. And David the king was great again!
We need peace in our families, prosperity in our communities, and greatness in our nations. It is when rebellion are quelled that we will have it. No palace enjoy peace and prosperity and greatness when rebels live at its gate.