Posted: February 17, 2016 in Chapter 62, When the Wolf Howls
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Dagger for When the Wolf Howls

© by Ross Cochrane

Chapter 62

Absalom could think of no better time to make his move than now. His plan was perfect and his father would be so easily deceived. Going to the king, he said, “I made a vow to the Lord while I was in Geshur. I told Him that if ever He brought me back to Jerusalem, then I would serve Him. God has answered my prayer and I need to go to Hebron, to my birthplace, to offer sacrifices. May I take leave from my duties here?”

“Of course!” I am delighted. This was the first time he knew his son to speak so openly about serving the Lord. He decided to postpone his celebration and would not make his announcement of Absalom’s reinstatement as a counsellor until he had returned.

Had Absalom known the plans of his father to re-instate him, perhaps he would have adjusted his own strategy for power. “Thankyou, my lord.”

David placed his hand on Absalom’s shoulder and said, “Son, when you were born in Hebron, I named you Absalom, “Father of peace.” Now return to your birthplace in peace.”

This struck Absalom as rather ironic. Peace is not exactly what I have in mind, Father. Far from it. You are such a fool! Israel’s 40 years of wilderness wanderings under your rule is almost over and you can’t see it! It is time for a new generation to enter the promised land! Now you will watch from the battlements of your Jericho as your kingdom collapses around you and you will be forced to witness the coming of a new sun rising in Israel!

Messengers were sent immediately throughout all the tribes of Israel, to spread the news that Absalom was succeeding David as king.

The message was well received. “Finally, a man who will give justice to Israel”, they said. They would listen for the sound of the trumpet and pay allegiance to Absalom as king in Hebron.

To achieve his purposes through a sacrifice seemed appropriate, he thought, as he rode out of Jerusalem in magnificent splendour. He had planned things well. One step at a time. Now the finale.

As his hair had continued to grow, Absalom, now back in a position of influence, had begun drawing more and more attention to himself. Riding in a chariot that he had acquired  along with some of the best of the king’s horses, the image was complete. Fifty of his best men ran before him. On this occasion, two hundred men followed as they moved out of Jerusalem and towards Hebron. The sight was impressive. He gained the attention of everyone in David’s kingdom as a young man of importance. The son of king David. Is this the man next in line to be king? they thought.

The sacrifice is being prepared.

Each of the fifty men who were running at a steady pace before the chariot had been specially trained for months. They would obey Absalom without question and had pledged their loyalty to him. For over two years they had been his secret intelligence, informing him of everything that went on in and around the palace. It was now time to dispatch one of them as a messenger back towards Jerusalem. He could think of no-one more suited or trusted to send than a man from Gallim.

“You will be my eyes and ears. Do your job well and I will soon return to you that which is rightfully yours.” His name was Paltiel. He had been one of the best of Absalom’s spies, mature and clever, but with a cold heart like the man he served. His wife, Michal, had been forcibly taken from him by the king and with a little help from Absalom, he had maintained his rage towards David ever since. “You have the eyes of a hawk and a quick mind, but for now, you must fly in the shadows.”

Pastor Ross

P.S. Don’t forget to purchase a copy of Above the Storm, my new e-book on the ancient book of Job, full of short stories to help you understand some deep truths. This is a creative exploration which doesn’t avoid the question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”


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