We have look at various things happening in 2 Samuel 18 in the last couple of post and in this post we will see that with the death of Absalom the war with Israel is over. What can we learn here? Let us begin by looking at verse 16 and following: 16 Then Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel, for Joab restrained the people. 17 They took Absalom and cast him into a deep pit in the forest and erected over him a very great heap of stones. And all Israel fled, each to his tent. 18 Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up for himself a pillar which is in the King’s Valley, for he said, “I have no son to preserve my name.” So he named the pillar after his own name, and it is called Absalom’s Monument to this day.
So we see that Joab stops David’s army from pursuing the remainder of the army of Israel, the real battle is over. Joab does not want any further complications. He does not want to cause the nation to resent David. There is a lesson to learn here and it is this: know when to stop. What we need to learn in life is it is not always appropriate to keep fighting – sometimes the best thing to do is stop fighting when you have won, so you do not do more harm than you need to.
There are times when we can find ourselves in confrontations. Sometimes as we are sharing our faith, we can find ourselves in an argument rather than a discussion. There is wisdom in knowing when to stop fighting. Do not forget what you are really trying to accomplish. It is not about wiping the person out but it is about leading them to Jesus. If you are always trying to demolish your enemies and belittle them – then you are making your life more difficult than it needs to be and not exemplifying being teachable. Joab was bright enough to know that it was time to stop fighting so that all Israel would not hate David but so that they would respect him. Do you know when to stop or do you always have to have the last word and demolish those against you? The teachable person understands that there are times to fight and there are times to stop fighting. I pray we all know when to fight and when to stop.
Then we see they just throw Absalom’s body into a pit – no proper burial for him! And then there is this thing about a pillar. We see back in 2 Samuel 14:27 that Absalom has three sons and a daughter and now we learn that apparently he has a pillar made because his sons have died. Why a pillar? The fact here is that he wanted to be remembered. Think about it; he made a monument to himself. He was concerned about leaving his mark on the world. Do you ever think about the mark you are leaving? Your words, your actions, will be a monument to you – are you proud of how that monument looks right now?
Absalom wanted to be remembered with a monument which means he would be remembered in stone and he was – under a pile of them and not for the right reasons. Here is the thing- our goal should not be to have people remember us. Our goal should be for people to remember Jesus. It is my desire that the ministries of the church that I am blessed to pastor be done in a way where the result is not remembering an awesome person, but that people were drawn to Jesus because someone shined Him brightly. It is the same for our lives – may our lives be remembered for what Jesus did in our lives and not for what we did. Our lives should be living monuments of Jesus working in us because that shows that we are or were teachable and that we were taught by Him.
Are you good about knowing when to stop or do you seem to take things too far? What are the ways you will be remembered? Are they ways you are and will be proud of?