Kissing Babies and Shaking Hands

The political life is one that makes us suspicious. We have seen perfect public figures exposed time an again for being hypocrites at home and at work. The pull of power has ever been a corrupting influence. Absalom, David’s son, had an axe to grind with his father when he refused to raise his hand to do justice to Amnon his brother. Also, David didn’t carry out a just response to Absalom’s murder of Amnon. David’s sin with Bathsheba has changed him, in his private life at least he has become impotent. Absalom sees that he must rise up and oppose his father in public.

He starts by launching a political campaign. Read below to see how similar to a modern politician Absalom is.

2 Samuel 15 :1-12

1 In the course of time, Absalom provided himself with a chariot and horses and with fifty men to run ahead of him. 2 He would get up early and stand by the side of the road leading to the city gate. Whenever anyone came with a complaint to be placed before the king for a decision, Absalom would call out to him, “What town are you from?” He would answer, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.” 3 Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your claims are valid and proper, but there is no representative of the king to hear you.” 4 And Absalom would add, “If only I were appointed judge in the land! Then everyone who has a complaint or case could come to me and I would see that they receive justice.”
5 Also, whenever anyone approached him to bow down before him, Absalom would reach out his hand, take hold of him and kiss him. 6 Absalom behaved in this way toward all the Israelites who came to the king asking for justice, and so he stole the hearts of the people of Israel.

7 At the end of four[a] years, Absalom said to the king, “Let me go to Hebron and fulfill a vow I made to the LORD. 8 While your servant was living at Geshur in Aram, I made this vow: ‘If the LORD takes me back to Jerusalem, I will worship the LORD in Hebron.[b]’”

9 The king said to him, “Go in peace.” So he went to Hebron.

10 Then Absalom sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to say, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, ‘Absalom is king in Hebron.’” 11 Two hundred men from Jerusalem had accompanied Absalom. They had been invited as guests and went quite innocently, knowing nothing about the matter. 12 While Absalom was offering sacrifices, he also sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, to come from Giloh, his hometown. And so the conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing.

Questions:

1: Why did Absalom sit outside the city gate?
2: Why would Absalom take 200 people with him?
3: What kind of person would you describe Absalom as?
4: How would you describe the similarities and differences between modern political campaigns and that of Absalom?
5: When you vote how can you see through the charade?

Advertisements

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Kissing Babies and Shaking Hands

  1. Cassie Clark says:

    1: To talk with and influence all who came through the gates.
    2: Maybe to make it seem as if others supported him. Then those whose favor he tried to gain would think he was legitimate.
    3: Manipulative
    4: Similarities: modern politicians usually use persuasive arguments to convince that “everyone” is on board. Differences: Chariots and gates?
    5: Sometimes? But I haven’t voted yet

  2. Rebecca Langer says:

    1: Why did Absalom sit outside the city gate?
    Because he wanted to intercept them before they got to his father.
    2: Why would Absalom take 200 people with him?
    He wanted to have people on his side for the coup.
    3: What kind of person would you describe Absalom as?
    Tricky and deceptive
    4: How would you describe the similarities and differences between modern political campaigns and that of Absalom?
    I think they are very similar. They say what people want to hear and they lie.
    5: When you vote how can you see through the charade?
    I can research what the people really believe and not just what they promise.

  3. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. He wanted everyone to come to him for advice, instead of David.
    2. To show that he was powerful and that he was great.
    3. He was sneaky and conniving.
    4. their words speaker louder than their actions.
    5. I have never voted…

  4. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. He was trying to get the people to think that David did not care about them as much as he did and thus win their support.
    2. He wanted to have as many people as possible to proclaim that he was King so that it would spread and be heard.
    3. I would describe him as someone who is cunning and tricky.
    4. Just like the campaigns today, Absalom attempted to win over the people by portraying himself as the good guy and David (or his opponent) as the bad person. He made promises to the people that sounded great to their ears and spread lies about David.
    5. I can search out what they truly believe and the things that they have supported or been a part of in the past. I can also get the opinion of those around me that I trust. I can also pray about who the Lord would want to be in charge.

  5. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. Absalom sat outside the gates to influence the people coming in, to talk to them and made them like him.
    2. Absalom had 200 men come with him most likely for the purpose of having a big following and gaining more power.
    3. I would descirbe Absalom as charasmatic and socially smart.
    4. Modern political campaigners are often charasmatic and socially smart like Absalom, they are different in that they though both running a political race, the ways of that race and the democratic tools are different.
    5.Well I haven’t voted yet, but I I would hope to see through the charade by looking at what they do on the side, how they have lived their life before they knew they were going to run for office.

  6. HyeJin Lee says:

    1: Why did Absalom sit outside the city gate?
    To stir up the popular passion.
    2: Why would Absalom take 200 people with him?
    To be seem like he has lots of power.
    3: What kind of person would you describe Absalom as?
    very planned, wicked, scary person.
    4: How would you describe the similarities and differences between modern
    political campaigns and that of Absalom?
    Modern political campaigns and that of Absalom has similarities in that both of them agitate people, but Absalom did it through actual people, and modern political campaigns are more likely through broadcast or media.
    5: When you vote how can you see through the charade?
    If you see what they had done before, it could be helpful for you to decide what their inner plans are.

  7. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) He was trying to gain support from the people so that they would appoint him king.
    2) To make it look like Absalom was actually king.
    3) He is deicietful and full of trickery, and also very selfish.
    4) In many ways, modern campaigns are very similiar because candidates always try to belittle the other party, saying that if they were in office, things would change.
    5) By judging character, not just the candidates words.

  8. Grace Yoo says:

    1. Absalom sat outside the city gate because he was trying to convince the people that they should appoint him as king.

    2. Absalom took 200 people with him because to make it look like he was the king and that he was in control.

    3. I would describe Absalom as a selfish man who lies a lot and very conniving.

    4. I am not sure how I would describe the similarities and differences between modern political campaigns and that of Absalom.

    5. When I vote I can see through the charade by looking at their beliefs and what they say.

  9. Moon Jung Kim says:

    1: Why did Absalom sit outside the city gate? to win people’s support
    2: Why would Absalom take 200 people with him? As he gathers crowd, he wants to show he has lots of supporters and it will increase his power and support from people.
    3: What kind of person would you describe Absalom as? sly, deceitful
    4: How would you describe the similarities and differences between modern political campaigns and that of Absalom? what Absalom did to people in the city gate is exactly what modern politicians do to gain people’s support. But it is sly. They deceit people as they put people needs first. Real their purpose of the campaigns is to accomplish their selfish ambitions.
    5: When you vote how can you see through the charade?

  10. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Absalom sat outside the city gate so that he could meet all the people coming into the city before they had a chance to get to the king.
    2. Absalom took 200 people with him so that they could protect him and fight for him.
    3. I would describe Absalom as a selfish person.
    4. I would say that modern political campaigns are similar to Absalom in that they try to catch people and influence their opinion before they have a chance to meet with their opponent, and they also try to influence the people’s opinion by stretching the truth.
    5. By looking at both sides objectively and then making a decision.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s