Study from God’s Word… 2nd Samuel 16: 15-22; 2nd Sam. 16: 23 – 17: 4; 2nd Sam. 17: 5 – 29; 2nd Sam. 18: 1 – 33 [including today’s verse]; 2nd Samuel 19: 1 – 4 …Passage for Reflection: 2nd Samuel 18: 33 … NIV 33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: "O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!".
My Journal for Today: When you read (or have read) about the death of Absalom and his personal and political attempt to unseat and even kill his father; and then we read of David’s tender desire to spare Absalom; and we read of David’s grief over his death; … what do you glean from all of this as a take-away lesson from God’s word?
Well, there are a couple of lessons for me. One is that the sins of the father can – and often do – visit the next generation. We know how weak and immoral David was in the Bathsheba incident and cover-up; and we can speculate that David still had fondness for his son, after Absalom’s death, because he reflected on his own weaknesses and felt that he had failed being the example he should have been for his son. Perhaps, you are like I am … knowing that you could have done a better job of raising your kids; and you have great empathy and love for any weaknesses they might have which could have been attributed to the poor modeling or parenting you provided for your kids. Perhaps you did the best you could, even being a good Christian parent; and your child still turned out bad; and you grieve over their disobedience and weaknesses, willing to excuse their faults because of your past parenting.
Now, we have to look at all of this from Absalom’s viewpoint. Obviously, Absalom wasn’t able to see in David what God saw in this “man after God’s own heart.” Instead, he felt slighted in some way. Perhaps he was not given the attention (i.e., time) or affirmation which Absalom felt he deserved, especially being the son of king. How often does a preacher’s kid go bad when the pastor father gives much more time to the church and very little comes the child’s way? But whatever caused the parent/child wounding, Absalom certainly had it in for his dad, the King; and we see how this ultimately played out in the tragic and gruesome death of the King’s son as he tried to go to war with David.
If you are a parent reading this, I don’t know how your kids turned out or what attitude they hold for you as a parent. Somehow, despite much neglect and poor “dadsmanship” as a parent of our two daughters when they were very young, they turned out to be Godly, Christian women, who are currently raising their kids, along with their hubbies, in a Godly fashion. To that I can only praise God’s grace. I guess I came to a saving and sanctifying relationship with Christ in time for me to give them the parenting they needed in their formative years of growth. And my wife was certainly a wonderful role model and caring Christian mom during all those formative years.
But I do know that Godly parenting holds with it great promise or horrible heart-aches. I don’t know how it has turned out for you; but whatever you do, hug your kids everyday. Tell them – yes, …TELL THEM – you love them … OFTEN. Give them a lot of positive affirmation; and then hug them some more!!! Prayerfully your parenting will not yield an Absalom-type tragedy; and you will see your children be raised in the admonition of God’s truth as well as the in the loving shadow of His wings. And in that environment, I pray that your children, like two we have raised, will come to know Christ and have a deep and abiding relationship with Him, passing along their God to their children as you have given them Christ in your life.
My Prayer for Today: LORD, I pray that all who read this love their parents and their parents love them; and I pray that Your love is being passed on through the generations of their families. Amen