Today’s reading: II Samuel 15-16; Luke 20:27-47
So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel. II Samuel 15:6b
45 And in the hearing of all the people he said to his disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, Luke 20:45-46a
How easily people are led astray by impressive, charismatic leaders who seem to have power and wisdom!
Absalom carefully mounted a campaign that would rival that of any of our current crop of politicians. He spent money to equip himself with a chariot and horses and a company of men to run before him. Then he made it a practice to station himself where he could talk to people who had legal problems. He worked the crowds. He did the grassroots campaign thing. He made promises about the great improvements he would bring if he were in formal leadership.
He stole the hearts of the people.
Then the day came when he made his move. David’s support collapsed like a house of cards and Israel followed Absalom, their new king. It almost worked, and, except for the providence of God, it would have worked. The point is people are fickle and can be won over quickly by a powerful person making compelling promises of a better life.
In Jesus’ day, the scribes were viewed with awe. They were dignified, apparently spiritual, disciplined in piety, and recognized by everyone. At the same time, they used their knowledge of the law to take financial advantage of unsuspecting widows. Jesus warned His disciples to beware of them.
The problem of devious religious and political leaders is not new. Certainly, both the Church and our nation need leaders of character and integrity, but, sadly, those who rise to high positions are not always to be trusted and never to be trusted blindly.
Pray for our leaders both in the Church and in society. Beware of those who veer off from God’s truth. Do not be led astray. Study the Scriptures and seek God’s wisdom. And remember: we are not home yet. Someday we will have a truly wise and powerful King.