Often when discussing the Old and New Testament we point out that the Old Testament is preparation for the New. In other words, the Old Testament is full of what are called “types” that point to the full realization in the New Testament. For example, the Messiah of the Old Testament is a type that is fully realized and understood in the person of Jesus Christ. Jonah’s three days in the whale are a type that is fully understood and realized in Jesus three days in the tomb before His resurrection. Satan has a type as well. No, I’m not talking about the serpent in Genesis 3. Think of Absalom, the son of David.
Absalom’s story begins in 2 Samuel 13 with the story of his sister Tamar’s rape at the hands of their half-brother Amnon. Though David finds out about this he does not punish Amnon “because he loved him.” For his part, Absalom says nothing to Amnon, neither good nor bad. At least until two years later when all the sheep are being sheared at Ball-Hazor, this is when Absalom invites all the king’s sons to a feast to celebrate. During the feast Absalom instructs his servants to wait until Amnon is “merry with wine and I will give you a signal to kill the king’s son, Amnon.” Amnon is killed, Absalom then escapes to Geshur where he is protected by Talmai, the king of Geshur. In all Absalom stays in Geshur three years before using an intermediary to attempt to deal with David and secure his return to Jerusalem.
David in the three years since Amnon’s death has come to terms with the loss and has forgiven Absalom. He allows Absalom to return but does not want to see him. After two years of this Absalom once again uses an intermediary to intercede for him before David. David relents, publicly forgives Absalom with a kiss and restores Absalom to his place in the kingdom.
While there is no time frame given, Absalom eventually develops a fairly high opinion of himself and is filled with pride. This is represented in a few ways, one of them is in Absalom’s hair. It seems he had an incredible head of hair. He would only cut it once a year and then have it weighed. Each year it would weigh in excess of five pounds. Likewise, he had a large ornate chariot built to be pulled by a full team of horses. Each day he would ride to the city gates in his chariot with his fifty bodyguards running ahead of the chariot. At the gates he would flatter the people who would come to the city to bring a case before the king to be decided. To each of them he would say, “You’ve really got a strong case here! It’s too bad the king doesn’t have anyone to hear it. I wish I were the judge. Then everyone could bring their cases to me for judgment and I would give them justice.” When people tried to bow before him, Absalom wouldn’t let them. Instead, he took them by the hand and kissed them. He did this with everyone who came to the king for judgment, and in this way he stole the hearts of all the people of Israel.
After four years of this Absalom leads a rebellion against his father, David. This rebellion is well supported and successful for a time. After driving David and his supporters out of Jerusalem, Absalom enters the city as a conquering king. He and his advisers immediately erect a tent on the palace roof where in full view of all the people Absalom has sex with all of his father’s concubines. This was to show his complete rejection of his father and that there was no possibility of reconciliation.
While it looks bleak for David and his followers eventually their fortunes change. A large battle ensues in 2 Samuel 18. In the end it is Absalom’s pride that is his undoing. Riding through a grove of trees his glorious hair becomes entangled in the branches. He is left dangling from the tree by his hair. David’s men find him and kill him even though David had given orders that he was not to be harmed if possible. David is restored to the throne, but he weeps uncontrollably as he is overcome with emotion. He is not crying for joy but mourning the death of his son Absalom. “Absalom, my son, if only I had died instead of you,” he is heard to say.
Ok, so what do we do with this story? It’s a neat story, with intrigue and war and everything else that makes for a good Hollywood blockbuster, but what do we do with it as a church? There are many “types” in this story that we can pick out, but I only want to talk about two, Absalom and David. We should see David as representing God. When Absalom committed the sin of killing his half-brother and running away from God, David eventually forgives him and restores the relationship to what it was before Absalom’s sin. Notice, though, that he is forgiven after seeking forgiveness and having another intercede on his behalf. Each of us, as believers, have spent time in our lives when we sinned and traveled, at least spiritually, a long ways from God. In spite of that God was waiting graciously on each of us to come before him, repentant and seeking his forgiveness, so that he could restore us in our relationship with Him.
Now, Absalom plays a couple of “types.” Obviously, as explained above he represents a typical believer that returns to God after living a life of sin. He also represents two other individuals, the believer who after receiving God’s salvation rejects it and he represents Satan as well. You see, Absalom was a child of God, forgiven and restored, who in the end returns to sin and rejects his father in full view of all the people. Hebrews 10:26-27 says, “For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth (the Gospel), there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but only a fearful judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the enemies of God.”
The fall and destruction of Satan can also be seen in the story of Absalom. Absalom served his king, David, but eventually became filled with pride. Pride so strong and so corrosive that it pushed him to want to be king and to lead a rebellion of others against his king. When Absalom instructed his servants to kill Amnon he told them, “Don’t be afraid. I have given you this order. Be strong and brave.” That’s the voice we all have in our heads, “Go ahead, be brave, be strong, what could possibly be wrong with doing _____________.” Absalom like Satan, was living on borrowed time. While Absalom believed all the people would follow him, there still remained those loyal to the King. This over confidence or pride would lead to his destruction. Satan in the same way went to war in heaven and was cast down. (Revelation 12:7-12, 20:10)
The Old Testament is a great wealth of understanding and knowledge. With it we gain a knowledge of the world and culture that Jesus and the Disciples came out of. More importantly we see clearly and understand fully the forgiveness and love available.
Mission Trip: July 23-July 30
IYM: July 26-July 29, 2017
Christmas Children’s Program:
Looking for a Director now.
VBS: Sunday July 16-July20 with program on July 21, 2017 . Comm C will be in charge of refreshments Friday night.
VBS Directors - Dani Junker, Alicia Daleska, & Mindy Hadley are willing to direct.
We will be doing Maker Fun Factory, created by God built for a purpose this year. We will be doing a lot of hands on learning and creating! It will be July 16th-20th from 6:15-8:30 PM. This year we will be holding VBS for ages 4 years old to fifth grade. Your child will have needed to turn 4 by July 1st of this year to attend VBS. If you wish to help out with Maker Fun Factory or have any questions please contact:
For those who like to read Karen Kingsbury’s books, we have several in our library. New to our library are: Fifteen Minutes, Angels Walking and the Above the Line Series – Take One, Take Two, Take Three, Take Four. We also have Sanctuary by Beverly & David Lewis and Woman of Courage by Wanda E. Brunstetter new to our library this month.
Reading may not solve your problems...but then again neither will housework.
Dates To Remember!!
· July 12-16, 2017: Friends United Meeting Triennial in Wichita, Kansas: We will meeting on the campus of friends University five days of worship fellowship, learning ,and service. https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1877598
· July 26-29, 2017: Our annual Yearly Meeting Sessions will take place in Oskaloosa.
· Next HOC Meal August 31, 2017
We are called to be witnesses,
2017 Ministry Conference
July 26-29, 2017
"...Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..." (Ephesians 3:20).
Plan now to join us for our annual
conference where we will enjoy the fellowship of the gathering of
Friends, share in the work of Iowa Yearly Meeting, and see how God would
transform us to Thrive in the coming days. Even if you are unable to
attend the entire conference, plan to join us for evening services or
other portions to participate in the greater community of Iowa
Yearly Meeting of Friends Churches.
It would be great to to see participation from all of our meetings, leadership, and pastors. If at all possible, keep these dates open on your calendars and encourage others you associate with to do so, as well.
A Message from IAYM Christian Education Board
Iowa Yearly Meeting Board on Christian Education
Please join us at Mesquakie Friends...
Mac & Berny McDonald, Mesquakie Friends Church
This year’s Friends United Meeting Summer Project focuses on equipping our new building in Belize—a former auto parts warehouse. This 8,000-square foot space will become the new quarters for Belize Friends School, and home to a new Belize City Friends Center. This is the start of a larger vision for FUM in Belize!
We’re building a new stairway, installing public restrooms on each floor, cutting windows & doors into the concrete walls, repairing the leaky roof, installing whiteboards & new lighting fixtures, walling off space for offices & storage. And dozens of other jobs, big and small.
We’ve called Oscar Mmbali to serve as the Friends pastor for Belize. Oscar is a Kenyan Friend who has felt called to work in Belize since he was a student at college in Kaimosi. Oscar’s work in Belize will be full-time: learning from the people. Oscar will be gathering a people who want to worship God together and work together in their community.
We believe that attending school—and getting an education in order to be safe and to find a good job—are themes with which all can understand. We’ve set the goal for the project at $25,000. Last year’s Summer Mission Project raised $35,786.70 to help fund the installation of solar power in the library at Friends Theological College. Thanks to all who contributed then and will be helping with this project for Belize.
Dan Kasztelan of Friends United Meeting, Richmond IN