Right now, my church is in 2 Samuel for its Daily Bible Reading. Chapters 17 and 18 is a display of God’s sovereignty over man’s lives and His perfect justice in it all. He plans life and death. Reading about Absalom, David’s son has brought this strong feeling of hatred and also many tears of grief.
Absalom in his greed and pride became a “wise” judge over the Israelites so that he could be liked by the people of Israel. Following Absalom’s judgment and reign, by the way, showed how far off the Israelites were from God. In this, Absalom saw the power of being a ruler and deceitfully came to that position pushing his father out and desiring for his father to be killed. He had sex with his father’s midwives in front of all of Israel to disgrace David. Was David right in deciding to bring Absalom back into Jerusalem after Absalom had run from his own crime? Absalom was already looked down upon by the Israelites for killing his own brother Amnon…Could this be why he felt the need to win back the Israelites hearts with “wise” counsel?
In reading chapters 17-18, you see the fall of Absalom and his brutal, violent death. How does David reply?
verse 33: And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
I could feel David’s anguish as I read it. I felt his pain. I felt the sorrow and grief. I can’t imagine losing not one, but two sons!
What strikes me as amazing is David’s forgiveness. The fact that he is sorrowful shows that he looked passed Absalom’s sin and failures and saw him for who he was: his beloved son. In my mixed feelings of anger and sorrow for Absalom, I couldn’t see how David had such a forgiving heart. He really was a man after God’s own heart.
I desire this same love and forgiveness, I desire to see that in my life with people that I know. Praying today that this forgiveness that seems unfathomable would be present in my life, that I would look past the faults and failures and see the people as God’s children, his beloved children.