13 July 2020 - 2 Samuel 18:19-33

Today’s devotion is taken from 2 Samuel 18:19-33

Absalom was David’s son who was trying to make himself King. He killed Amnon (another one of David’s son) in 2 Samuel 13 to avenge the rape of his sister. In 2 Samuel 18, he prepared an army to fight David, his father. In this battle, Absalom was killed and we have the account of David finding out about Absalom’s death. In this incredible story, you would expect David to be overjoyed that an enemy has been killed.

Fatherly love
The Cushite was reporting back to David about their victory over Absalom’s army (2 Sam 18:28-32) but David was more concerned about his traitor son, Absalom, rather than Israel’s victory. Earlier we read that David commanded his army to deal with Absalom gently for his sake (2 Samuel 18:5). Despite how bad Absalom treated David, it seems David still loved Absalom. Charles Spurgeon said this "Our children may plunge into the worst of sins, but they are our children still. They may scoff at our God; they may tear our heart to pieces with their wickedness; we cannot take complacency in them, but at the same time we cannot unchild them, nor erase their image from our hearts." All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We did not deserve any grace or mercy. Here, we have a human story of how great an earthly Father’s love is for their runway and treacherous child. Imagine how much greater is our Father’s love for us that we have the privilege of being called children of God and that it was not that we loved him but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:9-10).

The greater King
In V.31-33, we read that David mourned for Absalom. Despite reading some of David’s sinful behaviour, this passage in 2 Samuel 18 really shows that David is a man after God’s heart. I remember just not a long ago my son was hurt as fell down and there was a cut on his lip, it was bleeding. My one year sold was crying uncontrollably. I was soothing him and trying to calm him down and I said I am sorry. After the visit to the clinic, I thought to myself, why did I say I am sorry? It is because I failed to protect my son from getting hurt. That must be how David felt, he must have been devastated that his son’s life ended this way. It started his sin with Bathesheba all the way down to his failure to disciple Amnon. He must have felt he was responsible.

After David’s sin with Bathsheba, God had said, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife” (12:10). God forgave David’s sin, but David lived with the ongoing consequences of what he had done. David failed to protect his son, Absalom and he felt that he should have died in Absalom’s place. But David could not take Absalom’s place. David was a King who could not save. We need a greater David, a greater King. We find that in our King Jesus. What David wished he could do for Absalom, Jesus did for us. Jesus became our substitute and he died so that we may live an eternal life.

Suggested prayer:
Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us when we did not deserve it and thank you for giving us the joy to call you Abba Father. You loved us so much that you gave your only begotten Son Jesus to save us from our sins. Thank you for extending your grace and mercy every day of our lives. Help us always to remain humble and be thankful for everything. Thank you for the blood of Jesus, your precious Lamb. Amen.