“The king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33 NASB)
I found this action by David so interesting. Here he was running from his son who had not only killed his brother but now had turned the hearts of his father’s kingdom against him. He had spent four years deceiving David and intended on taking the kingdom from his father. Day after day he worked on his plan. This didn’t just happen. Absalom plotted and planned. One would think David was relieved, but instead he mourns. He cries and weeps for his son. Why?
David didn’t win any “Father of the Year” awards but he still had his Father’s heart. Absalom had not turned out as David had hoped. He sought revenge against his brother who raped his sister. He murdered him. Then out of fear he ran away for two years to escape the punishment of his father David. Absalom wanted desperately to return to his family and finally David permitted it but refused to accept him into the fold. Over all this time Absalom’s heart grew colder and colder. Each event caused him to become harder and more calculating.
I believe David understood what had happened to Absalom. He knew what it was like to murder a man. He remembered how it felt to run for his life. He understood injustice and the desire in a man’s heart to make things right. David realized Absalom’s heart carried all of this with him weighing down his heart. And he had hoped his son would recover from all he had endured. But he did not. He died and angry, bitter man. And David wept.
The Bible says David was “a man after God’s own heart.” He truly was. You see, David looked beyond Absalom’s actions right to his heart. He understood his actions weren’t who he was but a symptom of another problem. His heart was sick and needed healing. Until that healing came, he would continue to lash out and be angry. David understood this because he had experienced it. Haven’t we all?
No one understands our hearts like our Father in heaven. He offers us compassion and love when we are at our worst. He provides healing and peace because that’s what we need. God wants us to take the grace we have received and use it as a means to spread His love. You see, God doesn’t give us something so we can hold on to it. He only gives so we, in turn, can bless someone else. That’s the heart of our Father.
- The king covered his face with his hands and kept on crying, “O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 19:4) (twgdailydevotionals.wordpress.com)
- 2 Samuel 16-18 (hisstillsmallvoice.wordpress.com)