2 Samuel 18:9, 14-15, 17, 33 During the battle, Absalom happened to come upon some of David’s men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air. “Enough of this nonsense,” Joab said. Then he took three daggers and plunged them into Absalom’s heart as he dangled, still alive, in the great tree. Ten of Joab’s young armor bearers then surrounded Absalom and killed him. They threw Absalom’s body into a deep pit in the forest and piled a great heap of stones over it. And all Israel fled to their homes. The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.”

Last night we were all disturbed in someway by the news of the verdict of “Not guilty.” America once again was split down racial lines with polls from CNN saying that most whites thought the shooting was justified because Michael Brown fought with the Police officer after he stole cigars and many blacks thought he deserved to live and face justice being an unarmed teen-Ager. Last nights protestors were a mixture of disciplined protestors and rabble-rousers who came only to steal, kill, and destroy.

Justice was not served. The Prosecutor sounded like a PR specialist for the police department instead of an advocate for justice. Evidence has not been released. They gave the verdict at night when they knew the probability of people looting and rioting. More than anything this was a snapshot of something far more symptomatic. Racism in America is still alive.

Michael Brown was not innocent but he didn’t deserve to be murdered. Like a lot of young men in America he was caught up in his own immaturity. On any given day white, black, Asian, Latino teen-agers are doing something foolish: just check out snap chat, world star, or the vine. There is a way to deal with the anarchy of our young people without murdering them in the streets.

David had a son named Absalom who went rogue. He rebelled against his father and took over his kingdom. David literally ran for his life. There was a war between David and his son. David was much more experienced than his son and told his men to bring him back alive. David knew that his son had anger issues stemming from the rape of his sister Tamar. David and Absalom had unresolved issues. Absalom had committed a crime of treason against the King punishable by death but David said bring him back alive.

They chased Absalom through the woods. He had beautiful long hair that got caught up in the trees and left him dangling in mid air while his donkey kept going. His hair represented his vanity. A lot of young people get caught up in the vanity of their youthfulness. They act out of their emotions and they end up getting caught up.

Here’s where we come in

  1. The soldier sees the young man caught up in the air defenseless. He tells Joab who is the General that he is alive. This is where they could have apprehended Absalom. When we see a young person caught up that is our opportunity to get them down, not gun them down.
  1. Joab asks, “why didn’t you kill him?” The soldier says, “because the King wants him alive!” Don’t you think God wants these young people alive. God wishes that none would perish. That is why he gives us all time to get ourselves together before we stand in judgement before God. What if God would have killed you when you first got caught up?!
  1. Joab takes three spears to plunge into Absalom’s heart while he is hanging defenseless in mid air by his hair. Mike Brown had his hands in the air and was shot in the eye and head and body six times!!! Don’t you think Joab an experienced soldier could have taken this defenseless young man who was caught up alive?!
  1. The armor bearers surrounded Absalom and finished the job. They took his body and covered it with stones. The media is like the armor bearers. They cover this murder with the stones of propaganda so that we never get to what really happened. The men come back with the “story” that justice has been served.
  1. David is devastated at the news. Michael Brown’s parents are devastated at the news. There are still so many unanswered questions surrounding the murder of their son. Instead of answers we get cover ups. Instead of answers we get cute speeches from our leaders. Instead of answers their son’s death is covered up with propaganda that he was a thug who stole cigars. The truth of the matter was that he was a young man that got caught up but didn’t deserve to be murdered.

Dear God,

Help us to restore justice in our land. Show us how to reach our young people who get caught up in their own youthfulness. Help us to examine ourselves to see what we have done as parents to cause a whole generation to get caught up in violence. Show us how to rid ourselves of the scandal of racism so that we will not reach the next generation how to get away with murder. Help us to train up our children in the way they should go so they won’t get caught up in stealing, killing, and destroying their own community. Send us police officers who are really called to serve and protect and who are not caught up into plantation politics and perpetuate a racist agenda. Move us to a post racial America where people are judged by the content of their character and not character assassinated on TV or shot down in the streets. Keep us from being caught up.

 

In Jesus Name,

Amen