No matter how horrible our kids can be sometimes, we always want what’s best for them. David is in a precarious position. He’s being persecuted by his son, who no doubt would murder his own father in a heartbeat, and yet he continues to harbor a great love for him – a painful love. This type of love is torturous. Even though David is in hiding and must partake in a civil war to protect himself, he still asks his soldiers to go easy on Absalom. Perhaps he thinks by showing mercy, Absalom will humble himself and retreat. Despite David’s wishes, however, Joab still sees fit to kill Absalom as he’s helpless, hanging from a tree by his hair. I thought the two messengers would pay the price, but it seems David accepted Joab’s actions, maybe because he knew that Absalom’s death was inevitable. It was the only way to bring peace to the Israelite nation. I don’t know if it will bring peace, though. Absalom had a mighty and loyal army at the time of his death. We shall see. One thing I underlined in this chapter was from verse 8, where it says more men died because of the forest than were killed by the sword. We see in Absalom’s own death how dangerous the forest could be. Sometimes God employs nature to work for Him and for us. After all is said and done, though, David is deeply grieved by the death of his son and even wishes that he were dead instead of Absalom. That’s how a father’s love should be, and I imagine our own Father is deeply grieved by our failings just like David was for his own son’s misdeeds. If you’ve ever grieved due to the actions of another, particularly an offspring or even just a loved one, you have felt a small glimpse of how much God grieves when we do hurtful or just plain dumb stuff. We can always look at King David’s examples when we are struggling with conflict in our own lives.
Writing prompt: grief
Write about a time you have grieved. Try to describe why you grieved during this particular instance and see if you can put yourself in David’s shoes and view your grief through God’s perspective.