Wednesday, April 3, 2024

April 3, 2024

The unusual death of Absolom is a story that has stuck with me since I heard it as a child. In the heat of battle, which took place in the woods of Ephraim, Absolom’s donkey ran him under a tree with very low branches, and they caught his luxurious hair and snatched him off the donkey who left him hanging there. And being unable to untangle himself, he was left vulnerable. Some of David’s men saw him there and reported it to Joab. They feared killing him because David had given orders to deal gently with him, just as any parent might respond concerning their child; no matter how evil they might be, most parents don’t want to see their child’s life end. However, to save the kingdom and do the will of God, Joab shot him with three darts and wounded him, and his men finished him off. They buried him in a pit and covered him with a heap of rocks. Joab sent Cushi to deliver the message of victory to David, but Ahimaaz, a young priest who was a fast runner, wanted to deliver it. Joab preferred Cushi deliver it, probably because he didn’t know how David would react to the message of the death of his son. Ahimaaz outran Cushi but allowed Cushi to give him the news of Absolom’s death. Even though this was a victory for David and his small army, he was crushed by the news and retired to his room in grief. 

I understand David’s reaction because our family has also dealt with a child turning and fighting against us, but at no point have we ever wanted them dead. The pain is unbearable, but we are thankful they are still alive. However, David’s kingdom was at stake, and the victory ensured that he continued as king and owed his fighting men praise. When God hands us victory, even if we are sad, we must remember to thank the Lord because He is the One who saved us. 

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

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