Readings: II Samuel 18-19, Psalm 143, I Corinthians 9
II Samuel 18: Absalom, David’s own son, created an army and tried to take David’s throne through force. (He also killed one of David’s other sons in earlier chapters.) When Absalom is finally killed, David’s reaction is not joy. He reacts with deep mourning, yelling, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you–O Absalom, my son, my son!” Not being a parent, I can only imagine the anguish of David, both in having to endure the horror of having his own son try to kill him, and in hearing of his death. I think this must be how God feels about us. It must pain Him to watch us turn against him and die against Him. David’s outburst reminds me of Jesus, knowing that Israel’s religious leaders in Jerusalem would succeed in getting him crucified, said, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
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