BEWARE! – The SOURCE of our PRIDE can be our DOWNFALL: "Absalom rode on a mule. The mule went under the thick boughs of a great terebinth tree, and his head caught in the terebinth; so he was left hanging between heaven and earth. And the mule which was under him went on" (2 Sam 18:9)
Absalom rebelled against his father, and attempted to take over the leadership of Israel by deception. Using his charm, he stole the hearts of the men of Israel (2 Sam 15:6b). This was not acceptable because until now God had chosen the person who would rule over Israel by confirming this selection through His prophet Samuel who anointed the future king by pouring oil on his head – as was in the case of both Saul (1 Sam 10:1) and David (1 Sam 16:13). Absalom should have just looked into the history of Israel, and have known that God selects the future king of Israel. Any attempts to thwart the purposes of God will only end up in defeat and disaster!
Absalom had good looks and a lot of hair that was the source of his pride. "Now in all Israel there was no one who was praised as much as Absalom for his good looks. From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him. And when he cut the hair of his head--at the end of every year he cut it because it was heavy on him--when he cut it, he weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels according to the king's standard" (2 Sam 14:25-26). We see that the source of his pride resulted in his downfall and death later.
In 2 Sam 18:9 we see Absalom hanging from a tree cursed by God and forsaken by heaven and earth, and understand God’s abhorrence of children rebelling against their own parents. Absalom was probably entangled by the hair of his head, which being very long and thick might easily catch hold of a bough, especially when God directed it. Some however think that the head of Absalom, which being caught while running between two branches, was enclosed so firmly that he could not disengage himself from the hold, nor make use of his hands while the mule that was under him went away. Thus the matter of his pride was the instrument of his ruin.
Pride is sin (Prov 21:4) and hateful to God (Prov 6:16-17; Prov 16:5). It often originates in self-righteousness (Luke 18:11-12) and defiles us internally (Mark 7:20, 22) while hardening our minds (Dan 5:20). Let us understand that pride is a hindrance to us seeking God (Psalms 10:4; Hosea 7:10) as well as being a hindrance to our improvement (Prov 26:12) Pride is the characteristic of the devil (1Tim 3:6) and the world (1 John 2:16). Let us beware and learn from the sad story of Absalom– the source of our pride can be our downfall as well…!!!