“And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:33.
Of course, there was no excuse for the behavior of Absalom. There are many things about which one can speculate, but that’s all it would be. For some reason, Absalom hated and resented his father. He sought to take the kingdom from him, and shame him by committing adultery with his father’s wives.
Absalom may have been angered by his father’s neglect. It is difficult to run a kingdom and have time for one’s family. But, none of us need excuses to rebel against our parents. We always justify our actions. David may have been at fault, but Absalom was guilty and still responsible.
However, our concern is not with the behavior of Absalom; it is with the grief of a father. David was grieving for Absalom long before Joab killed him. And so it is; every parent who has had a rebellious son or daughter can understand David’s cry. And, if that child dies in rebellion, the heart ache is just so much greater.
We are quick to pass judgment on others when tragedy strikes them, and many times suggest that the parents or the child had it coming. That may be true, but that should never be our response. We need to learn to weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice. Christianity is a religion of the heart as well as of the head.
All of us can read the story and hear David’s cry. But, only a few can read it and identify with it. Nothing hurts like a broken, crushed heart. Thus, we too learn to cry with David “…O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” Our own family failures, personal sins, and gratitude for God’s forgiveness, ought to put us in a frame of mind that not only hears David, but holds his hand as we climb the stairs with him.
Pastor Ken Blue was born in Boswell, Ark. In 1955 he accepted Christ as his Savior. He and his wife Joyce were married in 1955. They have 5 children. He graduated from Midwestern Baptist Bible College in 1969 and started the Open Door Baptist Church in Lynnwood, Wa. where he pastored for 39 years. Because of health issues (ALS) he was forced to resign as pastor. It is his desire to continue to be used of God to help pastors and believers through this ministry.