II Samuel 18:1-33
In the last verse of II Samuel 18 we read the heartbroken cry of King David for his lost son. It happened a long time ago, yet these words are tragically up-to-date. They are the words of a careless parent: "O my son! My son, Absalom! Absalom, my son! If only I had died in your place, my son! Absalom, my son!"
David had great family problems. Especially tragic were his relation- ships with his children. It probably all began when this man "after God's own heart" committed his blackest sin. You remember. While his army was in the field, David stayed behind in Jerusalem. From his rooftop he saw a beautiful woman bathing herself. He lusted for her and sent for her. From their adulterous relationship, she became pregnant. Trying to cover his sin David set in motion a series of events which ultimately caused the death of Bathsheba's husband. Then David took Bathsheba for his wife.
God sent Nathan, the prophet to speak hard words of judgment. Turn with me to the twelfth chapter of II Samuel and read, beginning with verse nine: "You had Uriah killed in battle; you let the Ammonites kill him, and then you took his wife! Now, in every generation some of your descendants will die a violent death because you have disobeyed me and have taken Uriah's wife."
Nathan was only stating to David the natural results of his sin. Sin always carries its own seeds of punishment. There is in this world a law of action and reaction. David's sin and it's resultant consequences is another example this Biblical truth: "He who sows of the flesh will of the flesh reap corruption."
As he was confronted with his sin David repented: "I have sinned against the Lord," he told Nathan. And the prophet replied: "The Lord forgives you." But reminds him that the consequences of sin had been set in motion.
David's family problems which had begun in sexual sin continued in the same manner. David had a beautiful daughter, Tamar, the sister of Absalom. She was the half sister of Amnon, who lusted for her much as David his father had lusted for Bathsheba. He tricked her into coming to his quarters, pretending to be very ill. Then he raped her and had her thrown out of his quarters. In shame and humiliation she ran weeping to her brother Absalom. Absalom didn't state it aloud, but determined in his heart to avenge Tamar. He found his chance and had Amnon killed at a family gathering.
Absalom fled Jerusalem but in two years was re-instated in the King's court. He then began to plot the overthrow of his father's throne. After four years Absalom made his move. At first it looked as though he might succeed but eventually David's forces defeated the rebels. Absalom was slain.
When messengers reached David with the news, he showed little concern either for the fortunes of war or the future of his throne. Instead, he wanted to know only if his son Absalom was safe. When he finally learned the tragic news, he wept ...
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