Absalom was David’s son. David was God’s chosen king.
David loved Absalom. David loved God.
Absalom was a sinner, a willful, unrepentant sinner. David attempted to deal with Absalom in his own strength, and was drawn away from God and His truth into the morass of his own feelings, confusion and poor judgments.
Absalom sought a reconciliation of sorts, but his heart was never right with God. David acquiesced to Absalom’s desires to a degree. But their human effort to do “the right thing” was not blessed by God who knows all hearts.
Ultimately Absalom’s self-will and pride, and the resultant self-promotion it produced bought him into direct conflict with his father, David. Someone had to be “boss.” Someone had to “control” things. Someone had to be king. War ensued. Absalom was killed ignominiously.
David did what would be expected of any “normal” father. He mourned the death of his son. But his mourning was not of the Lord, it was merely human sorrow without the temperance of spiritual understanding. It undermined the peace and blessing of the kingdom, his authority as king, and his honor as “a man after the Lord’s own heart.”
David had allowed another god to have a place in his heart. An idol had been erected which he came to worship: Absalom. God was not pleased and sent a friend to David to tell him very directly “Your mourning is dishonoring to the Lord, and is disquieting to your people. ‘Get over it.’ Fill your office as king to the glory of God.” Fortunately, David responded in humble faith and the kingdom’s peace and prosperity was secured without further judgment from God.
Absalom had chosen sin. Absalom had chosen rebellion. Absalom had chosen selfwill. Absalom had willingly, knowingly rejected God’s way. The war that ensured was of Absalom’s making, not David’s. To mourn such a son was dishonoring to God who is Truth and Righteousness. And God will not be mocked. David endangered himself and his people by allowing his human feelings and sentiments to dictate to God’s eternal truth. Only God’s grace saved the day, but only by means of horrible judgment.
Do you have an Absalom in your life? If so, he is a test of the Lord, a real-life equivalent to the Lord’s question to Peter: “Lovest thou me more than these?” And God requires an answer from you. But be very careful how you answer. God knows your true heart, and only a truthful answer will suffice. Whatever your answer is, know this: it will dictate whether you will receive God’s blessing or judgment. So choose wisely. God is not mocked.
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