So Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, without coming into the king’s presence. 2 Samuel 14:28
Absalom lives in Jerusalem for two full years without coming into the king’s presence. He lives in comfort among the people of God, but he is as estranged from his father as he was when he was in the far country. He has no access to the father who loves him. There is no fellowship, no access, no peace, no joy.
Far from seeking repentance, Absalom seems to have spent his time cultivating celebrity status among the people. He had “Samson-like” hair that he would grow for a whole year and then, when his hair was cut, he made a great occasion of weighing it (14:26).
“In all Israel there was no one so much to be praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him” (14:25). There were no blemishes on his body, but all kinds of ugliness in his soul. Absalom’s celebrity status continued to grow, but he is far from repentance and far from God.
Absalom continued to live under a suspended sentence. He is neither punished nor pardoned. He is neither banished nor reconciled. He has no communion with the king. He is in the worst of all positions and might as well have been in Geshur.
Absalom was home, but he remained a rebel and his heart was not changed. This reminds us of something important: It is possible to be among the people of God, to be greatly loved by the people of God, and yet to have a heart that is hard toward the king.
Have you ever lived (or are you currently living) among the people of God, while your heart was (is) far from God?