And when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. In this manner Absalom dealt with all Israel who came to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel. - 2 SAMUEL 15:5-6
How does the heart get bamboozled? In antiquity people were captured by an over-powering enemy, others born into an enslaved family, and some held until they could pay a debt. Absalom, David’s son, the prince, enslaved people’s hearts. Individuals bowed respectfully and Absalom would say something like, “No, don’t bow in front of me; you’re my dear friend, not a mere subject!”
To “steal,” in the Hebrew, means getting something by stealth. People whose hearts throb for the approval of their heroes can get bamboozled. Jesus Christ is more powerful than the deceiver, so, unless you allow it, your heart can’t be stolen through brute force. You were born into the captivity of sin, but in Christ you are in the family of the free, so that’s no reason for heart captivity. In Christ, your sin-debt is cancelled, so you can’t be held in servitude.
The only way your heart can be stolen is through bamboozlement. But if you know you are accepted and approved by God through Christ’s grace, no shyster will be able to enslave your heart!
Are you a master at stealth? Are you easily taken in by the bamboozlers? Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal your points of vulnerability. Confess the sin of using flattery to get people to yield to your wishes.