The Promise and the Kiss


2 Samuel 15:6 Absalom did this to all the Israelites who came to the king for a settlement. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.

I was young in ministry, in the first few years, when a well-dressed articulate guy pulled up in what I think was a Lamborghini. Whatever it was it had doors that raised overhead and an engine that sounded like those doors might double as wings. He seemed interested in my ministry, asked a lot of questions and then told me of his NASA-level entrepreneurial exploits that had landed him millions. He said he wanted to give me one of those millions. So I listened. Okay, I actually did more than listen. I met with him… a few times over a number of days. Admittedly, my attention was on this guy more than it should have been. Ended up he was a liar. And one might also consider him a thief. He certainly stole my attention.

Absolam did the same. He promised to distribute settlements to all those who were in want. He made a promise and he stole their attention.

But he did more than just that. He kissed them and stole their hearts.

Sounds like some politicians, yes? They promise what you hope for and tell you what you wish. It’s the promise and the kiss.

From his stump he cries, “Great people of the state of Missouri, listen to me! Your hard work built this state! Your character has made it strong! Your love for God and your commitment to your families is an example and an inspiration to this nation! (kiss). You deserve better schools, better roads, and a better economy! And when you elect me this next term, I promise…”

The kiss. The promise.

The deceitful duo in masquerade to steal your heart. And Oh! How many hearts have been stolen by elected officials in this very way preying on millions with misguided hopes and misunderstandings of justice.

It’s not just bad government and corrupt politicians in bondage to power. It’s the corrupt businessman who promises more than his product can deliver and makes you feel like a winner for wanting it. It’s the ministry leader who pedals numbers that insinuate great success while he makes you feel like a saint when you give (and like something else when you don’t.)

And consider Satan.

Didn’t he try the same tactic? After 40 days of fasting, the Devil tempted Jesus with that old “kiss and promise” trick.

“You’re the Christ. You can turn stone into bread. You’re the son of God. You command the Angels. (kiss) And if you worship me, I promise I’ll give you all the kingdoms of the world.”

The kiss. The promise.

How can the Christian guard his heart against such trickery? Before you cast your vote or pledge your allegiance, consider less the promise and the kiss but rather put Christ’s selfless attention on those parties involved that might suffer collaterally from actions based in such selfish motive. An Irish economist, George Bernard Shaw said, “A government with a policy to rob Peter to pay Paul can be assured of the support of Paul.” Maybe. Unless Paul loves Peter.

Along those lines, it is fair to ask if those who pledged their allegiance to Absalom would have done so if they had foreseen what would be written about the effect of their decisions just 24 verses later:

David was climbing the slope of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he ascended. His head was covered, and he was walking barefoot. Each of the people with him covered their heads and went up, weeping as they ascended.

Thousands of years ago, Evil used Absalom to steal hearts. The tactics used then are still used today. Beware of his promise and his kiss; those feel goods and false hopes. The Devil wants to steal your heart and the only way to surely safeguard it from such plunder is to give it to Jesus.

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