I just read 2 Samuel chapter 18 today. It is about Absalom’s rebellion and his treachery against his very own father, David. This episode was all part of God’s punishment for David’s wretched act of murder and adultery (reminder: the story of Bathsheba and her husband Uriah). The first part of the punishment was the death of his first son by Bathsheba, whose name escapes me.
The picture above was taken on February 11, 2015, three days after my first son’s birth. He is one of the most precious gifts God has so graciously and faithfully given to me. So when I read the story of Absalom’s rebellion, my heart was taken on an emotional roller coaster. What sins have I committed that may result in the unnecessary and undeserved suffering of my family members? Will God have mercy on me and my family? How can I learn from David’s failings (and his successes) in his life and walk with God? What if my own sons rise up against me? Will my love for them cause me to say — if it was only me who died rather than him?
Yes, the stories of Absalom and even Adonijah after him are the result of David’s own rebellion. And though David was a great leader, he was not so as a father. But more importantly, I see God’s aching heart in this story… one that aches through the man of David, whose love for his children is almost as great as God’s unfailing love for us. In this messiness and tragedy I see a glimpse of the sacrificial heart of Jesus Christ first in the heart of David. No wonder he was described as the man after God’s own heart.