Personal ambition

Absalom abused his leadership position for his own personal vendetta

2 Samuel 13.23-39

Reference: v.28 Absalom ordered his men, “Listen! When Amnon is in high spirits from drinking wine and I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon down,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Have not I given you this order? Be strong and brave.”


Explore: I can totally understand Absalom’s rage towards Amnon. He had raped Absalom’ sister, Tamar, and then rejected her, condemning her to a life of an outcast and Absalom had taken her in to protect her from a life of tragedy. I’m not sure I would have been particularly pleasant towards Amnon. However, Absalom did not take things into his own hands. While he did order his men to kill Amnon, he pressured them into a murder situation leaving the blood on their hands.

Application: Absalom’s men were obedient to him. Although it does sound like they were a little hesitant as he had to reinforce his order to kill three times: ‘don’t be afraid’; ‘have not I given you this order?’; ‘Be strong and brave’. When we have influence on other people, we have extra responsibility to ensure that those people are themselves living lives of integrity. I once heard a leadership saying: Don’t ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t be willing to do. Absalom certainly didn’t uphold this style of leadership. He brought his own personal agenda to his workers. Whatever leadership position we may be in, to be Godly leaders we must have respect for those we lead and not bring our own personal vendettas into a situation.

Prayer: Lord, so often I am selfish and want what’s best for me. Help me to take more responsibility in my leadership roles. Amen.

This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.