2 Samuel 18:24-33
“O Absalom, my son, my son!”
We see it all too often. A young person - or maybe not so young person - making choice after choice that is self-destructive, counter productive. No amount of talk will sway them from their choice. No threat will make them second guess. We are forced to sit back, feeling helpless, praying for the intervention of the Holy Spirit. Unfortunately, too many people plunge fairly far into the pit before they turn to hear the voice of love in the Spirit. Sometimes, they never do.
King David made a really unwise decision in pursing Bathsheba. He made a selfish and murderous decision when he had Uriah killed. In David’s surviving sons, David wanted to break the cycle - help them to lead better lives, more faithful lives. But David had a hard time negotiating between his roles as parent and king, too often choosing king when they needed Dad.
In this passage, David hears from the runners the outcome of the civil war raged by his son, Absalom. This civil war comes after Absalom killed his brother, Amnon. Family tragedy was everywhere. As David waited by the gate, his kingly hope that his forces were victorious over the rebellion clashed with his worry as a father for Absalom’s well-being. When the kingdom is won back at the expense of Absalom’s life, David is unconsolable.
I believe that God’s will is always that all of God’s children should lead happy, faithful lives. But the difficulties of human living often twist the path of God’s will and people get hurt. We hurt them. Others hurt them. They hurt themselves. We are hurt.
We should try to learn from King David that love - not fear, power or greed - is the healing balm for God’s broken world. If we (all of God’s children) could just act on love - the more difficult path - and not out of fear, power or greed, how different our lives would be. How different our children’s lives would be. How different the world would be.
Lord, you call us to be faithful to your will. You always will good things for your children. Why is it, Lord, that it is so hard to love instead of lash out? Why is it so much harder to love than to forgive? Why is it so much harder to put aside our own “stuff” and allow the Spirit to lead us in loving ways? Gracious God who continually calls us, help us to feel and act on your love.
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