“Oh Absalom, my son, my son!”
Scripture reading for March 31st: 2nd Samuel 15-18
“Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your god has commanded you, so that you may live long and that it may go well with you in the land the Lord your God is giving you.” Deuteronomy 5:16
“This is what the Lord says; ‘out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel'”.( 2nd Samuel 12:11-12)
God’s Word never returns void! It is always true and the one who chooses to go against it does so to their peril. King David disobeyed God’s command against adultery and although he was forgiven, he reaped what he had sown in his own household. Absalom, a son of King David, chose to rebel against his own father and try to take the throne of Israel. His story is recorded in today’s reading. It has a boastful beginning and a sad ending.
Absalom was a master politician. He made all kinds of promises to win the hearts of the people. His heart was plotting a take-over of his own father’s throne and he did it by flattery and empty promises. (2nd Samuel 15:4-6) He secretly set himself up as king and secretly won over David’s trusted counselor, Ahithophel, who joined in the conspiracy. He was a man full of pride and self-promotion who would do anything to gain power.
Ahithophel advised Absalom to take his father’s concubines and sleep with them in front of all Israel. This appealed to this rebel son and he willingly broke God’s commands and dishonored himself and his father, not to mention God! In doing so, he fulfilled Nathan’s word to King David as his own father was confronted with his own sin of adultery! God’s Word is always true and comes to pass! (2nd Samuel 16:20-22)
Absalom’s brief rebellion ends in a tragic way. He was always proud of his long, thick hair. As he was riding his mule through the forest of Ephraim in battle with his father’s men, he caught his hair on a branch and was left hanging in mid-air by his beautiful hair. He was struck down by Joab, David’s army commander, and Joab’s armor-bearers. His life cut short by dishonoring his own father!
When told of his son’s death, King David laments his death and wishes it had been him! What anguish is caused by sin! These sexual sins seem to offer such pleasure, but in reality cause death and agony! We reap what we sow! David’s lament is very touching! In it we hear the heart of God for all his lost children! He wants none to perish, but all to come to repentance. He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but wishes for their salvation and restoration! In fact, He sent His own Son to die in our place! Wow! What amazing love! Our Father identified with our sins and weaknesses and and offers pardon and restoration!