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Summary: Considering the events leading up to Absalom's rebellion and seeking to learn from his actions.

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“After this Absalom got himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom used to rise early and stand beside the way of the gate. And when any man had a dispute to come before the king for judgment, Absalom would call to him and say, ‘From what city are you?’ And when he said, ‘Your servant is of such and such a tribe in Israel,’ Absalom would say to him, ‘See, your claims are good and right, but there is no man designated by the king to hear you.’ Then Absalom would say, ‘Oh that I were judge in the land! Then every man with a dispute or cause might come to me, and I would give him justice.’ And whenever a man came near to pay homage to him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. Thus Absalom did to all of Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

“And at the end of four years Absalom said to the king, ‘Please let me go and pay my vow, which I have vowed to the LORD, in Hebron. For your servant vowed a vow while I lived at Geshur in Aram, saying, “If the LORD will indeed bring me back to Jerusalem, then I will offer worship to the LORD.”’ The king said to him, ‘Go in peace.’ So he arose and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent secret messengers throughout all the tribes of Israel, saying, ‘As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then say, “Absalom is king at Hebron!”’ With Absalom went two hundred men from Jerusalem who were invited guests, and they went in their innocence and knew nothing. And while Absalom was offering the sacrifices, he sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city Giloh. And the conspiracy grew strong, and the people with Absalom kept increasing.” [1]

“One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” So goes the excuse that some use to justify civic terrorism. To be valid, such a concept must meet several criteria. The one some combative individual as a “freedom fighter” must be able to justify the resort to violence. If they cannot do this, the argument fails. To qualify as a freedom fighter, the one engaging in violence must actually have suffered loss of freedom or face the probability of loss of freedom. Generally, when speaking of the loss of freedoms that would justify rebellion, we are speaking of those freedoms that are conferred on mankind by the Creator. Governments cannot create freedoms; governments can only recognise freedoms that the Creator has given all mankind. Let me state this again—no government can create freedom; government can only recognise the freedom that is the heritage of all mankind by God’s design. The practical impact of this concept is that government is responsible to guard and to preserve the freedoms God has given. It is not the role of government either to create freedoms or to restrict freedoms which God alone can give.

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