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The Deception of False Promises

November 26, 2018

Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. 2 Samuel 15:2

Absalom put enormous energy into his campaign of self-promotion. When any man who had a dispute came before the king for judgment, Absalom would reach out to him and engage him in conversation. Absalom would call to him and say, “From what city are you?”

Remember he is standing by the city gate. Every day, there were people who came from cities, towns, and villages across country. If they had a grievance or a lawsuit, they would come to Jerusalem to bring it to the king. And when they arrived, Absalom was there to greet them: “Hey, welcome to Jerusalem. My name is Absalom. Nice to meet you. Where are you from? You must have had a long journey. Now what is the issue that has brought you here?”

Absalom would agree with everyone he met: “See, your claims are good and right” (15:3). Whatever you were for, Absalom was for; whatever you were against, Absalom was against! Then Absalom would say, “But there is no man designated by the king to hear you” (15:3). “You really have a good case there, but I am sorry to tell you that the whole legal process is pretty messed up here in the capital.”

Then Absalom got to his punch line: “Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice” (15:4). Literally, “I would decide in his favor.” What a promise—everyone would get the decision that he or she wanted!

Are you making promises you cannot deliver on in order to win somebody over?

The Author
Colin Smith

Colin Smith is the senior pastor of The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. He has authored a number of books, including Heaven, How I Got Here and Heaven, So Near - So Far. Colin is the president and teacher for Unlocking the Bible. Follow him on Twitter.

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