II Samuel 15:1-6
David’s son Absalom wanted power and position. He knew how to get it.
2Sa 15:1 And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him.
2 And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel.
3 And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee.
4 Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!
5 And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him.
6 And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
He put on a show. He gathered an entourage to impress the simple. It is very apparent that people are impressed with some one that has a following. The thought may be, here is some one that others are impressed with so therefore let me join. Has anyone noticed a gathering gathers? Simply put, where people are, people go. One or two people can stand on a side walk and stare into the sky and point and others will begin staring. Absalom had his show going on, running around in his chariots and fifty men with him. Something to remember – crowds do not necessarily make anything right or correct.
He put on a facade. He stood in the gate where the elders of the city normally sat and attached himself to those entering in. His speech consisted of a lament that the current administration did not have anyone in the gate to address problems. He would them commiserate with them over their problems. Yes, you have a problem that needs to be taken care of but the current administration does not have anyone here to address this problem. Look, here I am. I am available to try your case. I can bring justice if only this were my administration.
He feigned a loving compassion. These people, impressed with the following and the interest in their cause found someone they could bow to and reverence. Reverence won is hard to lose. They were betrayed by a kiss just as our Lord Jesus was betrayed. He won the hearts of people by showmanship, false wisdom and faked compassion.
We find Absalom is like many false religionists and politicians to day. Showmanship draws. False wisdom wins. Fake compassion seals the doom of the simple people.