Life is short… blood is thicker than water… a son is a son no matter what he did…Being magnanimous and kind in grief is possible for one who has big heart… these are some of my thoughts as i read of David in 2 Samuel 18-20.
Context: Absalom, David’s son caused lots of trouble for David. He incited a coup to overthrow his father, King David. David’s men killed Absalom in one of the battles that followed his rebellion.
David mourned the death of his son. He loved Absalom in spite of what he did. 2 Sam.18:31-19:4 So the victory that David’s soldiers gained for him became like a sad defeat! Instead of celebrating the death of a rebel, David was mourning the death of his son.
Joab rebuked David:“You have today covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who have this day saved your life, and the lives of your sons and your daughters, and the lives of your wives and your concubines, 6 because you love those who hate you and hate those who love you. For you have made it clear today that commanders and servants are nothing to you; for today I perceive that if Ab′salom were alive and all of us were dead today, then you would be pleased. 7 Now therefore arise, go out and speak kindly to your servants; for I swear by the Lord, if you do not go, not a man will stay with you this night; and this will be worse for you than all the evil that has come upon you from your youth until now.”
Joab told the facts/truth to David:
1) You’re ungrateful to the people who saved your life and that of your family – instead you have shamed them. Why? v.5
2) You love your enemies more than you love your friend. v. 6a why?
3) It seemed that if the commanders and servants were dead instead of Absalom, you would be pleased. v.6b
4) Get up and go out and encourage your servants (those who are alive) v.7a
5) If you don’t, all these people will abandon you (since you did not care for them) v.7b
6) The worst is yet to come than all the bad things that happened to you since your youth. v.7c
And what did David do? The grieving father, got up and took his seat at the gate to fulfil his duty as a king to his people. v. 8
Not only that, i am amazed at the things David did following this event:
1) He attempted to reconcile Israel (10 tribes) with Judah & Benjamin (2 tribes that are loyal to him.) v.9-15
2) He showed kindness to Shimei – the one who cursed him. v.16-23
3) He was kind to Mephibosheth – son of Jonathan his best friend. v.24-30
4) He was kind to Barzillai – v.31-40 the man who showed him kindness.
In grief, David was magnanimous and kind. What a king.. what an unselfish king!