Key Verse: 2 Samuel 18:33
Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom — my son, my son Absalom — if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!”
In today’s reading King David prepares for battle against the forces loyal to his son Absalom. David knew that organization was necessary and he did this efficiently. However, he was very conflicted because his adversary was his own son. There is no doubt that David was completely aware that it was God’s will that he would continue as King over all Israel. The divine order is to put God first, family second, and organization third. God created family long before human organizations, such as government, existed. We cannot help but be emotionally involved if we read, not just with our minds, but with our hearts also.
David mourned so deeply that he would have been willing to die in Absalom’s place. We celebrate this Easter Sunday the fact that God became Man so that He could die in our place. If David, called a “man after God’s own heart,” could love so deeply, let us meditate on Jesus who “wept” over Lazarus’ death and also “wept” over the people of Jerusalem. The greater the love, the deeper the grief. “God is love.” God’s grief over human rebellion, suffering and death is far beyond our ability to even start to understand. We are His family, His sons and daughters. An additional reading which tries to put God’s love into words is 1 John 4:7-21.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, please change my heart so that I may enter more deeply into Your heart, loving with as much of Your love as I have the maturity to experience. I love You Jesus, and I mourn that my sins caused Your death. I realize that the future for David’s family could’ve been so different if he had been obedient to You. Please give me grace and spiritual growth, learning the lessons of the tragedy of David’s family. In Your Name I pray. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
As Norma-Jean and I welcomed our children into our family, we made a decision which I shared with the congregations that I had the honour to serve. As a Father, I was directly responsible to God for my children. It was taken for granted that Norma-Jean’s role was to the children before anyone else. There were some who thought that my calling as a minister and a pastor should take #1 priority. Not so, I let it be known. God was first, my family second, and my congregation third. I never heard from a member of any of the four congregations I served that they felt neglected in any way. I believe that the translation of the word love into all languages is time. Time with God early in the morning, when Norma-Jean and the children were sleeping, and time with Norma-Jean and the children at breakfast, dinner and most evenings. After those priorities came time with the members of the church, on call 24/7 only when absolutely necessary, in hospital visitation, often in the homes, and in my study during work/school hours. As an evangelist, the longest I ever spent away from the family was three weeks. I grieved for the last 2 weeks of that separation. I vowed “never again,” unless circumstances made it impossible to get home sooner. When I did arrive home, they couldn’t get me back to work right away, except for the times Norma-Jean and the children were not at home. God willing, I’ll continue this theme tomorrow.
Yours for establishing firmly the priorities that please God,
P.S. Whenever I have led a tour to Israel, one monument I always pointed out to our pilgrimage friends is “The Pillar of Absalom” standing tall in what is called “The Kings’s Valley.”