Absalom’s hair got caught in the tree….(2 Sa 18:9).
Has your pride ever humiliated you? Mine has. In fact, just last night, I shared with my church friends how foolish I had been in my early twenties. My heart was not soft before the Lord during that time. I had the audacity to tell God that if He didn’t have a husband for me, then He must not really love me. This catapulted me down a path of pure foolishness.
I was overcome by the fear of not having a husband so to soothe my anxiety I tried taking matters into my own hands, which got me in a place where I almost got married in my early/mid-twenties. Let me tell you, it’s pretty humiliating when you have to call a wedding off ten days before it’s supposed to happen. I can recall sitting there in my bed, under the deep conviction that I had made the pursuit of a husband an idol. My heart was hard to the goodness of God, my pride had overtaken me, so God had to take a hammer to destroy it. For that, I am grateful. It took me awhile, but I finally surrendered my singleness to God.
Absalom was a man of deep pride too. His glory was in his pursuit of overthrowing his Father’s own kingdom. The people loved Absalom because he was quite the character. He was handsome, likable and charming. If Absalom were a politician he would have wooed the people’s hearts to side with him. Not based on his heart motives, but because of his attractiveness.
Sin has a way of attracting us that is purely debased and prideful. Eventually, if we are not careful, our own issues with sin will hang us on the gallows in full view for all to see. God has a way of exposing our sin that becomes immensely humiliating. Sometimes, it’s the only way to lead us to repentance. Sometimes, He has to take such drastic measures to rid us of deep pride.
As Absalom was riding his mule in battle it was not a man who defeated him, but a tree. While riding along, his beautiful hair got caught in a tree and he remained there, hanging while his mule continued on. One might say that Absalom’s pride got him stuck. His hair was one of his most prized possessions. It set him apart from others. It was something he was known by and it was what ended up being his destruction. God won’t allow for pride to win out very long. We’ll eventually be hung by it.
Many of us have desires, hobbies, and giftings. There is nothing wrong with any of these. However, if we have not submitted these things to the Lordship of Christ, the very things we desire and pursue can become a snare for our hearts. They can steal us away from a right relationship with God. Until we repent, our pride grows bigger and bigger. Until eventually, we become hung by it. It was not wise for Absalom to go out with long hair in battle. Truly, it would have been a distraction while fighting, but that’s what pride does. It blinds us from the truth. It becomes more important than anything else. We become so encapsulated by it that we forgo being able to fight well because we’d rather put our idol on display so that our hearts feel affirmed and proud.
Ask yourself today, what has my heart? What has your will and emotions? What makes your anxious, worried and prideful? Submit those things before you become hung by them.
Jesus, I am prideful. I have been so foolish. I understand that I am still a work in progress. You’re showing me all these areas of deep foolishness. Lord, I submit them to you. I long to be like you. Change my heart through your word. Let your love and grace be my banner, in Jesus name, Amen!