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Civil War

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew
The Truth Network Radio
August 8, 2021 7:00 pm

Civil War

The Voice of Sovereign Grace / Doug Agnew

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August 8, 2021 7:00 pm

Join us for worship- For more information about Grace Church, please visit www.graceharrisburg.org.

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Revivals with you today.

Please turn with you with me if you want to second Samuel chapter 18 will start with verses one through eight. Then David mustered the men who were withing and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds and Davidson left the Army, one third, under the command of Joab, one third, under the command of the Vichy. I the son is Rue that Joab's brother and one third, under the command of the atoll to get tight, and the king said to the men, I myself will also go out with you. The man said, you shall not go out for if we flee, they will not care about us.

If half of us die. They will not care about us, but you are worth 10,000 of us. Therefore, it is better that you send us help from the city king said to them, whatever seems best to you, I will do so.

The king stood at the side of the gate will all the Army marched out by hundreds and by thousands in the king ordered Joab in a big shot and it deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom and all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom that with these we got our Lord in prayer. Heavenly father, we are dealing with some gut wrenching subjects today, many that brothers and sisters in our own church family are having to deal with rebellious children, disloyalty, death, the subjects calls her stomach to not up some of these things happen because of our own negligence or disobedience or apathy.

Sometimes things happen that catch us by surprise. Maybe we had nothing to do with but it hurts we all need counsel from the word of God as we look at Absalom today week need to be reminded that rebellion always leads to heart ache.

As parents we need to get serious about disciplining our children in love and doing it consistently under your guidance as our children get older and are no longer under our immediate authority. We need to learn how to give godly counsel to them without being controlling. But in this passage.

Today we see the death of Absalom, the heart brokenness of David Absalom died without the Lord he died in rebellion against his dad, rebellion against God is evident that Absalom entered into a godless eternity Lord Jesus passage to wake us all up to the reality the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life to Jesus Christ our Lord.

We love you Lord, thank you for loving us what is in the holy and precious name of Jesus that we pray.

Amen.

You may be seated.

We have before us today. One of the most heartbreaking stories in the entire Bible. David is just received news that his son Absalom has been killed is a heartbreaking story because a young man who had unbelievable potential has utterly ruined his own life and the life of countless others. Thousands of others because of his rebellious spirit. We need to remember who this David is David is the rider. The majority of our songs. He's a man after God's own heart here in this this story, we come to see David as he falls on his face before God and he cries out. Go Absalom, Absalom, my son Absalom would God that I died in your place. What we see going on here in this passage is what is called a Civil War Civil War is the worst kind of war because when you battle in the Civil War you're not fighting against an unknown entity, you are fighting against people who are familiar, maybe even family members, maybe even a son, Nora, or a brother or father or maybe best friend. I was reading book on the Civil War years ago and there was a chapter in there that was written by a lady who had written a diary during this time she had a son who was fighting for the Confederacy. She had a husband who was fighting for the Union army and she told about the great battle at Sharpsburg, Maryland, and that one particular day, there were 23,000 American soldiers that died on the battlefield that day, more than any other at that number was greater than any number of soldiers that have ever died in one day in American history will after one particular battle the southern army retreated and this is her husband who was a union, a Lieut., I was commanded to go out in and review what it taken place on the battlefield, he started walking through the battlefield, he started looking around.

All of a sudden his eyes just got stuck on one particular young man and he fell down on his knees after turning white is a sheet trim linen shaken and said all know all know God all know it's my son and he looked at his son.

He's laying there dead on the ground with a bullet that hold it up and shot right to his head.

The lady said in her diary that her husband went absolutely and saying they had to send them back home and when he got back home, he could do nothing but just weep uncontrollably. Diane and day out, to finally one day she went out from the house and she got back a few hours later she found her husband in a pool of blood where you taken a gun, put it to his head and shot himself to death.

The guilt of having to fight against his own son was so great that he just couldn't handle it. No wars more brutal more vicious and more heartbreaking than the Civil War war against family and friends. But as we enter into second Samuel chapter 18 that's what we see a civil war got six points that I want to share with you today.

As we look in this passage. Number one is this division the product of selfishness. Look with me at verse one. Then David mustered the men who were with him and set over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds, David had no recourse but to take over as the military commander of his nation. There was a military coup that was going on in his beloved Israel his own son had gathered together a great following the Scripture says that he stole the hearts of the people of Israel away from David and now he wants to take David's throne.

He wants David dead and what is he doing gathers up all of the soldiers and he uses them to go against David and to commit what we would call a civil war division. What a horrible thing. It is, it's horrible when it takes place in the country is horrible when it takes place in the school is horrible when it takes place in the workplace is horrible when it takes place in a family is especially horrible when it takes place in the church and some hundred 33, verse one. The Scripture says, behold, how good and how glorious it is when brethren drilled together in unity, but what a wonderful truth.

When people are bound together by love and loyalty and commitment. There is clear pleasantness and great joy. But when there is division or person has a divisive rebellious spirit. There is tension and controversy and unhappiness. What causes division. James gave us a great answer. James chapter 4 verse one is and what causes quarrels and what causes fights among you, is it not the S that your passions or desires are at war within you. Divisions come because people are selfish, selfish people demand their own way they want to satisfy the desire of the flesh and they'll do anything they have to do to get it and I don't care who they have to hurt. It doesn't matter.

They just want their way so they'll divide Bill splinter they'll do whatever they have to do to be sure they get their own way. This past Thursday night and he and Ray Yarborough had in divided city and I over for supper. We went over there. The house we had a wonderful meal together and then after the meal we went out on the front porch and the front porch looks out on their beautiful farm so we were sitting on the front porch just enjoying things.

There was a young lady there who would come and exercise the horses so she got there she went to the barn. She took out the two of the horses in the barn and she brought them out to the pasture you talk about two happy horses man they were running around jumping around just having this great time.

Just enjoy life and does this look so happy. Everything was just going good for them and then all of a sudden the lady decided she's going ride one of the horses.

So she took one of the horses out and took him out to ride the other horse went crazy. I mean it was so funny and that he got jealous. He was angry. He took his is who I suggest buying them down on the ground he was running around.

He stuck his head up in the air just when I went in.

Diane, I don't understand horse language, but if idea and I believe that that would've been horse profanity humming that horse was angry and mad and I thought to myself it easier denying that horse Absalom because of that horse was jealous and angry and rebellious and mad. Absalom wanted his way. He wanted to show his daddy that he was smarter than he was. He wanted to show his daddy that he was more suitable to be the king of Israel than his dad and he wanted to show God.

He didn't have to do what God commands us to do to obey our God-given authority they could do whatever he wanted to do and thousands of people died because of that bunch division is a product of selfishness, point to a hearing here is the product of repentance. Look at verse two, three, four, David sent out the Army, one third, under the command of Joab, one third, under the command of a busy. The sun is a rule I Joab's brother one third, under the command of the atomic Hittite and the king said to the me and I myself will also go out with you, but the man said, you shall not go out brief. We flee, they don't care about us. Half of us.they won't care about us, but you were 10,000 of us. Therefore, it is better that you help us that you send us help from the city. The king said to them, whatever seems best to you, I will do so.

The king stood at the side of the gate.

While all the Army marched out by hundreds and by thousands. David had his share of faults and make a lot of mistakes in his life but nobody ever accused David cowardice. David is getting older now is not a spring chicken anymore. He's kind of the lost some of his endurance. He doesn't have that spring in his step that he wants head. The years are swiftly are quickly slipping away from him, but that didn't stop and he goes out to his me in any sense to them.

I'll lead you.

I'll take the lead in the as I would not ask you to go do what I would not do myself, but it's the truth. He is a father with discipline rebellious child. And David knows that he knows that others would not take that attitude they wouldn't just discipline rebellious child that somebody else's they would want pure unadulterated worship and I'm not pure undead worshiper under an not worship but punishment. That's what he wanted that's what was gonna happen to him and David knew that David was concerned that he believed that if he could go out and fight against them himself if he can be the leader that he could protect his own son Absalom and that would go whale. The people said no David said if you go out with us and you get killed, then it's over it's over. I don't care about us that were not important of them they could kill us and it wouldn't matter but but this war is about you and if they kill you, you can rest assured of this. That battle is over and they will win.

So David, listen to their counsel, he determined that it was good counsel that it was right and he hated their words and so he broke down his his army into three different divisions. He got his three best generals set them over those three divisions.

He gave them instructions so that I'm not going to be there and that this is what you do and sent them out on the battlefield to fight.

He did that, then he got a setback and is it is my responsibility now to trust my million and most of all to trust God that he will get us through this a few weeks ago, I shared with you that David was reaching the father level of spiritual maturity. David was going so close to God that with his spiritual eyes, he could see God's plan and he could see God's purpose in this passage here. I am absolutely convinced more than ever that David is reaching the father stager of the father level of spiritual maturity. Because he's listening and a seating good counsel. He had to go to battle and decides that he's going to step back and let them do the financial he will be killed. That's extremely extremely important even force himself into a position where he can protect Absalom he says no on the let that go. I'm gonna listen to the to the Council of my generals to let this go, because I believe they are giving the godly counsel God led David to listen to his million now that was the majority here that was given David counsel does that mean that it's always right to listen to the majority, absolutely not, because majority a whole lot of times is absolutely wrong.

Go back to 1973 when the Senate in the United States House of Representatives. The majority voted for abortion they they voted to slaughter unborn babies in the womb, and to legalize that was that.

Right now, hardly with the majority voted for it. I think the majority of the people of Israel and turned against Moses, and they started following Cora and Jason according they are the ones who wanted to take away the report of the priesthood of Aaron. They wanted to taken away and taken them sales and majority wanted was that right now hardly 12 spies went into the promised land. They came back into get back there was a report when they did until the spies came back and they said we we can't go into that land. We can't do what God calls us to do their Johnson that land their huge monstrous people and were like grasshoppers in their sight. We cannot obey God. We must do what we need to do and step back and not going find was that right no was the majority correct, absolutely not. My heart is broken, the day over the false concept of Christianity that I see rising up in in America today in people's idea of what Christianity is.

Christianity is not wetness. Christianity is not this idea that we say our walk and believe in my head that Jesus Christ is is died on the cross for me and that's all I need for salvation.

I don't need to repent. I don't need to turn from I see and I don't need to submit my life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

But when I die knowing going to heaven that right. Majority thinks that white folks but it's not right that listen to what Jesus said in Matthew chapter 7 verse 13 enter by the narrow gate.

For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few and Erwin Lichter's book entitled, we will not be silenced. He said the following to say their calls for evangelicals to remake Christianity into a more inclusive religion.

There are widespread efforts to make the narrow door wider and to even affirm the salvation of well-meaning people of other religions.

So-called progressive Christians and by advancing their cause is under the banner of love and compassion in the process to hand the hard truths of Christianity are either redefined or ignored. Let me clear, be clear that I am opposed to a form of judgmental Christianity that holds to truth without compassion and righteousness without humility. I'm opposed to a form of Christianity that judges without listening and sees the faults of others without see in our own as a pastor. My heart breaks for those who hurt who are confused and you don't know where to turn our churches should be sanctuaries for the downtrodden, the oppressed and the lonely should be hospitals for the sole but I see much of contemporary Christianity submitting to the culture in many areas of life, especially in matters of sexuality. The only way to make Christianity appealing. We are told is to move the markers to be more inclusive, more affirming, I fear we are allowing culture to inform our thinking and even raise our children.

We no longer submissive to the whole counsel of God. We think we must accept or acquiesce to culture in order to redeem it. All I can say to that is a million, but in this case, David discerned the majority was right. He believed that God was speaking to him through his generals.

He had a hearing ear and that hearing ear was developed as he responded to God in obedience and repentance. It's amazing that when your heart is repentant your spiritual ears will be finely tuned to God's voice .3 a forgiving heart is the product of compassion. Look at verse five and the king ordered Joab in a Bish on NTI deal gently, for my sake with the young man Absalom and all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom of the last month is within study in the life of David been pretty hard on David for the fact that he did not discipline his children whale or hardly at all that we have seen how David's reticence to check Chase and his children when they were out of line when they were not being obedient when that happened. David didn't do anything about it and it backfired on him and it did great damage to the heart and lives of his kids, but I cannot fault David for his love for Absalom. Absalom was not repentant. He was absolutely rebellious. He was even out to take David's life to killing but David still love scene and wants to spare his life. How similar is that the actions of our Lord Jesus, who was hanging from the cross and he looked down at the foot of the cross and he saw all the people you hating he saw them as they were spitting on him and mocking him in life and adding and crying out crucifying crucifying and then he looked up to heaven and said father forgive them for they know not what they do so would ease you do as a Christian parent when you have a child it's in that kind of rebellion what what if you got Johnson prison. What if you have a child that is always in a adult child it's always in a drunken stupor would you do if you have a child that's always talking other people against you, tell them how much they hate you and resent you. You should still up doesn't mean you condone their sin, but you should still love them but loving so genuinely that he feels it.

He knows that he's broken your heart he knows that you can't condone his sin, but he still feels your love moms and dads God can use that kind of love to break through a child's heart. AW paints a tough theologian, I love to read his stuff of man he is tough on sin, so I wondered how he was going to deal with this passage I was shocked at how he described David's love for Absalom. Listen to what he said he said so right was David's law for his wayward son that even now he sought to deliver him from the stroke of death. He knew that Absalom was an excuse was rebel who saw his life and thrown quit proven himself to be the very incarnation of ingratitude of unfeeling cruelty of unadulterated wickedness of satanic ambition. He was guilty of treason of the vilest sword in his life by every law of justice was entirely forfeited.

Yet, in spite of all of this, the heart of David remain steadfast under him. There's nothing recorded in holy Scripture, which exhibits some vividly the depth and power of human affection, nothing which display so touchingly love for the utterly unworthy, therefore, is it not designed to turn our thoughts into a higher and pure love. Yes, see the aged parent driven from his home humiliated before his subjects stricken to the very depths of his heart by the murderous hatred of the sun and he had forgiven and honored loving the worthless and devil drives driven Houston with an unchanged devotion that sought to save him from his just and impending doom, yet wonderful as this was, it provides only a faint shadow of the amazing love of Christ which moved him to set his heart upon his people.

Even while they were totally depraved, utterly corrupt and dead in trespasses and sins, God commended his love toward us by the death of his son.

It was for the rebellious and ungodly that he was crucified when he say this. David was not wrong to love his son. This way, but David would have been wrong to fight against God's dealing with Absalom in this situation.

David had to sit back and say Lord do what you have to do. If judgment is his end that I know that you will do that which is right. Years ago someone came to me talk and he said me. Dougie said of got a son that was driving drunk and in that he got in a wreck and he was killed and that Rick he said he was a rebel against God. He said he thought me tooth and nail all through my life wouldn't go to church mocked Christ mocked me, not the things of the Lord, and he said I know where my son is now. He said my son is inhale and he said he is inhale and he'll be in torment for eternity for ever and ever and ever. He said knowing how am I supposed to be happy and joyful in heaven when I know that my son is inhale for all of eternity. I took him right. Revelation chapter 21 verse four says he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall they be mourning or crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.

I said it seems to me that this passage is telling us that God in heaven to come will wipe away that memory will wipe away that extreme pain and you know inhale. That's not can happen that way.

I think one of the worst things about hail is a memory if you die and if you go to hail you will remember every gospel message you ever heard you remember every person who ever tried to witness to you. You will remember every gospel track you ever read you will remember those things and you'll also remember that each time you said no because your pleasure was more important you think God's glory inhale, there will be a memory I think not in heaven. The former things, the ugly things, the hurtful things we will remember no more is true for us is also true for David High Point for his Civil War.

The product of rebellion. Look at verse six through eight.

Killarney went out to the field against Israel.

The battles fought in the forest of Ephraim and the men of Israel were defeated. Thereby, the servants of David and the loss. There was great on that day. 20,000 million. The battle spread over the face of all the country and the forest devoured more people that day than the sword. As I said before rebellion always creates division because rebellion is birthed out of selfishness, Absalom, and become so selfish he didn't really care about the people in Israel he didn't care if I got hurt any care they died. He didn't care about the morale of the country at all.

In fact, 20,000 soldiers died because of Absalom's rebellion. I don't think that by the name of the Civil War, is the product of rebellion. The people he followed Absalom trusted his words, his words sounded sincere, but they should look past his words to his heart and if they had they would've seen rebellious heart and a rebellious heart always leads to destruction. You probably remember the Andy Griffith episode where there was a new boy that had moved into the two may vary and so one day that the new boy takes as little new bicycle and driving it up town mayor of Mayberry. Neat. He puts his bicycle up on the sidewalk starts riding down the sidewalk illegally as he drive down that sidewalk eased knocking over elderly women and little kids are are running and jumping out of the way and Barney seizing Barney comes running over to him.

He grabs the bicycles and son stop what you doing, he said, don't you know this is illegal. You could hurt somebody this way, don't do this tonight and give you another chance. But don't you ever do this again. Boy said yes sir and then the boy got back up on his bicycle.

He drove a little road a little bit then jumped right back on the sidewalk and took off laughing at Barney. He took off he went around the corner and when he did, there was Andy Sheriff Andy and he grabbed that bicycle and stopping Barney comes running up peaceful puffin and huffing and puffing and looks into Andy and tells him the story. What this boy just did, so they decide to impound the bicycle until a board bring your dad back this evening will talk about it so the dam the boy come back to Andy's office that evening I walked in and Andy starts telling them about what the boy had done. The boy starts complaining and said that Andy and Barney were bullying him and the father gets mad he starts yelling back at Andy and anxious wait a minute. He says I'll put you in jail and the boy said that's right my daddy in jail. Just give me my bicycle and Opie's ears just perked up and the father's ears perked up as well. This boy was willing to let his daddy go to jail so he could get what he Andy took his belt off gave it to the father said you might want to use this. The father took his son to the proverbial woodshed. What a great lesson.

What a great lesson personal civil wars of the product of rebellion and will make shows like that today and it said I'd point father's obedience.

The product of loyalty. Look at verses 10 through 12 and a certain man saw it and told Joe, and behold, I saw Absalom hanging in Oak Joab said to the man who told me what you Salim Wiley. Did you not strike him to the ground. I would have been glad to give you 10 pieces of silver and a belt. The man said to Joab, even if I felt in my hand the weight of a thousand pieces of silver. I would not reach out my hand against the king son for Ian. I'm hearing, the king commanded you in a bit shiny at TI for my sake protect the young man Absalom the sand in the hourglass, and just about run out for Absalom. Absalom was riding his mule flew up path in the woods. There was a terrible three Oaktree that had a limb that was hanging download Absalom's hair long as it could be was flowing in freely in the win. And when he went under that that low hanging Liam's hair got caught up in the limb. He was jerked right off of his mule mule just kept going and so he's to hang in there between heaven and earth. Now did it because of whiplash might have. We don't know if it did, that could have that could have just totally paralyzed them right there.

But whatever is hang in there and he can't get down and needs into an absolute mess. I wonder wonder what he was thinking. We don't know for sure Scripture doesn't tell us. But one thing I think I know is this.

He did not expect this to happen. He thought that in just a few hours.

He might be seated on the throne of Israel and all of Israel would be bowing down before him, but now he's hanging from a tree.

William and he knows that in just a few minutes. His enemies are going to come. He's going to be killed. King Solomon wrote Proverbs chapter 27 verse one. King Solomon was David's son and I wonder if he had this instance in mind when he said this was not myself up tomorrow. For thou knowest not.

What a day will bring forth as a young soldier who sees Absalom's predicament seizing hanging in the tree and so he runs back to tell Joab what's happened. Joab said did you killing and he said no I didn't. Killing is that you should've killed them all to put money in your hand taking care of you said no. I could not killing.

He said you remember what David said to us, and I am loyal to David. David said us that we are to deal gently with his son, were not to kill him. I could not do it because I am loyal to David loyalty word this, lost its meaning in our culture had but without loyalty.

There's no trust without trusses and obedience. Would to God that Christians would sense the need in our own character to build that attribute into that character that character of loyalty we need to be loyal as a family focus and only tell you why, because sometimes when you mess up when you sin when you falter when you disobey God, you need somebody to talk to you need to be able to go to a brother and sister in Christ and unity be able to share with them what you've done and how you messed up and you need to know they're not in a go at gossip about you and they're not going to put you down there. Not to laugh at you. They're not in a mock you are not gonna try to hurt you or shun you but what they're going to do is to go try to help you to repent and turn back to him. Would to God that Christians would see our sales. His family, a family that sticks together and helps each other through those kinds of times.

David had that in these men hi .6. His death is the product of sin. Verse 14 through 18 Joab said I will not waste time like this with you and he took three javelins in his hand, thrust them into the heart of Absalom while he was still alive in the 10 young men Joab's armor bearer surrounded Absalom and striking and killing.

Then Joab blew the trumpet and the troops came back from pursuing Israel for Joab restrained them.

They took Absalom and threw him into a great pit in the forest and raised over him a very great heap of stones already Israel fled away to his own home. Absalom in his lifetime and taken and set up for himself. The pillar that is in the Kings Valley for he said, I have no son to keep my name in remembrance he call the pillar after his own name is called Absalom's monument to this day Joab about disobey David's orders. He was sick of Absalom. This was war and he wanted Absalom did so, he goes to this place were Absalom's hanging from the tree and I can imagine looking at him for just a few minutes and I can't even imagine what the conversation might've might've gone like he starts talking Absalom and I wonder if he said this God has given us a way to deal with children who were rebellious against their parents is in Deuteronomy chapter 21 verses 18 to 21 God said this man is a stubborn and rebellious son he will not obey the voice of his father, with the voice of his mother, and though they discipline him will not listen to them in his father and his mother shall take hold of him, bring them out to the elders of the city at the gate of the place where he lives, and they shall say to the elders of the city. This is our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice. He is a glutton and a drunkard, and that all the men of the city shall stone him to death with stones, so you shall purge the evil from your midst, and all Israel shall hear and fear Joab after the conversation takes three javelins and throws them right into the chest of Absalom in their 10 men that come and gather around them. They finishing off take his life and they take his body down off the tree, take it over to up yet. They throwing down in the pit and then they start throwing stones in that pit until late completely cover it up in the hole. His full.

That was the grave of Absalom, but sin has a goal and the goal is your death not just physical death the spiritual death.

Sin comes in alluring packages.

It comes with promises of fulfillment and promises of satisfaction. Those promises are empty.

It doesn't satisfies in all, but what it produces is death for the wages of sin is death. We cite all this folks, we cite to it. I think we usually say some like this are not Absalom I'm not like him. Yeah, we are we are were all sinners and our only hope is Christ with your here this morning and you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, and you don't know what would happen to you if you were to die today. I would be remiss if I did not warn you must not yourself up tomorrow. Thou knowest not. What a day will bring forth is a deadwood or doing you run to Christ you what is that mean run to Christ. It means that you turn from your sin that you repent of that sin and you run to Jesus in faith believing that he died not just for the world that he died for you personally in order that he might take your sin and give you his righteousness in order that he might take your hail and give you his heaven, and that he was resurrected from the dead is necessary to believe that to for his resurrection broke the power over death of everybody who will trust in him. What did Jesus say Jesus said he who comes to me I will in no wise cast out. If you don't know Christ today run to him. Don't put it off, turn from your sin and turn to Christ, the spring heavenly father, your words extremely relevant. Truth is truth and despite what our culture says it does not change. We saw the day that absolute futility of rebellion we saw Absalom thumping his nose that his God-given authorities essentially at God himself. Father Absalom's death is a fitting message to all who rebelled against our Lord Jesus Christ. People in our culture, find it amusing to speak with disdain against the things of God.

They laugh at those who love Jesus and seek for holiness. But death is the great leveler.

It respects no one Charles Spurgeon said it well when he said, death takes off the jesters As well as the students gain on and visits the University as well as the Tavern, no one escapes death when the Absalom's of this world come to their end. They will face God, and they'll be astonished that they could have been so stupid as to ignore all the evidence of God's truth Lord on that day, they will not boast proudly of their accomplishments, but will simply stand in shame can't use the story of Absalom help us all run from self and run to Jesus, which in the precious name of Jesus that we pray. Amen


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