Posted: February 13, 2016 in When the Wolf Howls
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Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 59

The time came when Absalom could bear it no longer. I can’t be king if I can’t gain access into your presence, Father. If you refuse me again, I’ll force your hand, he thought. He sent for Joab in order to send him with a message to the king.

To his astonishment, Joab would not come! As Absalom had grown more popular, Joab’s own attitude toward him had soured.

Never a man to be interested in popularity, Joab still had much in common with Absalom. It disturbed him that there was much in this brooding young man that he admired. He reflected so many of his own characteristics. Headstrong and proud … And cruel.

Not wanting to be reminded of his own regrets, he ignored the request. Best not to be associated with Absalom after David’s rebuke.

When Absalom sent for Joab a second time, and he still would not come, it was interpreted as a betrayal.

“Set Joab’s field of barley on fire!” he told his servants. That might prompt you to respond to a royal command!

Pure spite shone red in his eyes as he watched the flames spread. For a moment, he was Samson getting his revenge on the Philistines by burning their fields. The demonic forces, like foxes, ran through the fields of his mind, setting it on fire with malevolence.

It had the desired effect. Storming into Absalom’s house and with a voice which breathed out a fire of its own outrage, Joab said, “Why have your servants set my field on fire? What do you think you are doing?”

Absalom disregarded the questions altogether. He said, “The reason I sent for you is so I can send you to my father with a message. Go to him now and say, ‘Why have I bothered to return from Geshur? I might as well still be there.’ I want to see the king face to face, and if he still finds me to be guilty then let him put me to death.”

Absalom looked at Joab with eyes aflame like Joab’s barley field. For a flickering moment, Joab thought that Absalom looked ugly. He shows such lack of respect. He turned to walk out and as he did, Absalom said, “Joab, I am willing to make restitution for any crime I may have committed, but you know that I am also willing to avenge any crime perpetrated against me.”

This young man was dangerous. For some reason, Joab found himself wanting to get out of there as quickly as he could. Faltering at the door for a moment, he regained his composure and walked out of the house without saying a word. Unseen in the shadows, a man lowered his bow.

Absalom’s message to the king was relayed. Surely it is time to take my place! thought Absalom.

Surely his time of punishment has been enough, thought David, as he called for an audience with his son. I can refuse him no longer. He is my son. Everyone speaks well of him. I long to see you again, Absalom.

“My son!” David whispered, as his strikingly handsome son, Absalom, came into the room. Dutifully falling to the ground, Absalom prostrated himself before his father.He shows such respect, thought David.

But Absalom’s hair had grown and it was nearing the time when he must reach toward the two central pillars of his father’s kingdom and push with the might of Samson until the house of David crumbled.

Oblivious to what was in Absalom’s heart, David ran to his son and kissed him, sealing his pardon.


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