Daily Devotional

ABSALOM'S PILLAR

“Now Absalom in his lifetime had taken and set up a pillar for himself, which is in the King’s Valley. For he said, “I have no son to keep my name in remembrance.” He called the pillar after his own name. And to this day it is called Absalom’s Monument” 2 Samuel 18:18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prior to 2003, a life-size statue of Saddam Hussein stood conspicuously in the main square of Baghdad. Despots and dictators are known to always idolize their images, and Saddam was no different. When the US tanks rolled into Baghdad that year, Iraqis trooped to town to celebrate an ignoble end of the man who had ruled them with a rod of iron. The first place they attacked was the statue, but it proved too hard for them. The US soldiers eventually joined in and used their armoured vehicle to bring it down. Saddam’s effigy and those of other dictators remind one of Absalom’s pillar. Our text says that he erected a pillar for the sole purpose of immortalizing himself.

 

There are two lessons to go with here. The first is from the writing of Solomon. He noted that it is better for other people to celebrate you than resorting to self-praise. There are statues built to honour the memories of gone heroes. That is acceptable. However, to go out of one’s way and begin to idolize oneself is abominable. The second lesson is that we don’t actually need a statue starring in market square to be immortalized. I have a number of people whose photographs are not in my albums; nevertheless they have indelibly painted their portrait in the canvass of my heart. The best way for to be remembered is the lives you touch through kind words and noble deeds.

 

FURTHER STUDY: PSALM 49:1-12

PRAYER: Father, help me to put my hope of immortality in Christ alone.