2 Samuel 18:5 (King David) ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai (the three main commanders of the king’s army), saying, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders concerning Absalom.
Things have not been good between King David and his son Absolom. In fact, things have gotten so bad that Absolom is in open rebellion against his father – attempting to usurp him as king. For the most part, he has succeeded – forcing David and his closest followers from his home city of Jerusalem to avoid capture.
David has every right to reject his son Absolom, but he does not do so. Despite Absolom’s complete betrayal, David loves his son and asks for leniency from his commanders. It would appear that David hopes a reconciliation may yet be possible, though outward circumstances would suggest the odds are long.
I find myself touched this morning by David’s plea for his son. Yes, Absolom has been a complete scoundrel. But the heart of the father David is for his son – no matter what. Two things come to mind for me here:
1. Over the years I have turned my back on God my heavenly Father many times – in ways large and small. I have sought to control my own destiny rather than allow the Lord to lead and guide me. I have chosen to live the way I see fit rather than according to the ways of God – to my own detriment and to the detriment of those I love – which has surely pained the Father deeply.
Yet, despite all of this, the Lord God has never turned his back on me, but has sought reconciliation. Even to the point of sacrificing his Son Jesus for me. And, but the way, for you. Think on that for a moment.
Consider the depth of the Father’s love for YOU, love expressed on a cross.
2. I am the father of three children (one teenager, two young adults), yet things aren’t always great between us. We sometimes get cross with one another, for any number of reasons. This is perfectly normal, of course. My desire is that my heart for my children would reflect the Father’s heart for me. David is a great example of such love in our passage for today.
Heavenly Father, give us grace to comprehend the depth of your love for us, even in our rebellion. And give us that kind of unconditional love for those closest to us – be they our spouses, children, parents, siblings, grandchildren, whatever. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.