Alienation of Affection.
It happens in marriages all the time. Another comes in and they begin to share their problems, the spouse and this third person. Emotional bonds are formed…that lead to physical bonds.
Here’s how it is defined legally:
“Alienation of affections is a common law tort, abolished in many jurisdictions. Where it still exists, an action is brought by a spouse against a third party alleged to be responsible for damaging the marriage, most often resulting in divorce. The defendant in an alienation of affections suit is typically an adulterous spouse’s lover…”
But legal or not, alienation of affection can occur anywhere.
David had just restored his estranged son who had murdered one of his other sons. And how was he repaid? Absalom took 4 years and began to alienate the hearts of the people away from him.
Whenever someone had a problem, he would tell them that his dad, King David, didn’t have anyone to listen to him. But if he were king, he would listen to the people. Unlike his dad…
Keep in mind that Absalom was gorgeous. Like, even-the-men-noticed kind of ridiculous handsome. Perfect in every day. A model for all models. The Scriptures describe him this way:
“No man in all Israel as as handsome and highly praised as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the top of his head, he did not have a single flaw” (2 Sam 14:25).
This made Absalom dangerous. Because people always naturally gravitate towards beauty, brains or ability.
When the time was ripe, Absalom declared himself king. David’s own son betrayed him.
So David packed up and left. As he was leaving, people were having to choose sides. Do they side with Absalom or do they side with David? It was terrible times.
And yet, David once again shows himself to be an extraordinary follower of the Lord. He decided he needs to flee the palace which is humbling. Pride would have had him do foolish things but David knew when to exit.
Yet even in this he surrendered his rulership to the Lord. The high priests when David was leaving took the Ark of the Covenant with them to go with David. But David said this:
“Return the ark of God to the city. If I find favor in the LORD’s eyes, He will bring me back and allow me to see both it and its dwelling place. However, if He should say, ‘I do not delight in you,’ then here I am–He can do with me whatever pleases him” (2 Sam 15:26).
Amazing. David’s rulership was completely surrendered to the Lord. His son had ruined his reputation and his authority, but he knew his kingship was in the hands of God, not men.
He was a man fully surrendered to God. Not defeated. Surrendered.
And that faith is proven not when everything is going well, but when everything has fallen apart and it appears there is no hope. Even in this, all that he was and all that he gained, he knew it was in God’s hands.