by Christopher Harbin

This content is part of a series.

Oh Absalom, My Son! (25 of 52)
Series: Discipleship Part Two
Christopher B. Harbin
2 Samuel 18:33-19:8

Grief and trauma affect our lives in ways we may not recognize. They cause us to lose hope and even the ability to exhibit faith. Like a child growing up learning whether or not she can depend on the adults in her life to provide for her needs, traumatic events in our lives push us back into contexts in which we struggle all over again with the basic concerns of life. Will there be enough food for me? Will I be left out in the cold? Will I be safe from harm? Are others in my life worthy of my trust?

Those can be hard questions to answer, especially when we have faced major traumatic events in our lives. The cumulative effect of trauma has a lasting impact on our lives. The more difficult our past, the harder it is for us to move confidently into the future.

David had suffered various difficult and traumatic experiences in his life. He had been persecuted by Saul and forced to flee for his life. Saul had taken his betrothed and given her as wife to another. He had lost Jonathan, Saul's son and his best friend. David had experienced the loss of his first son with Bathsheba. He had seen his children fighting and jockeying over position. One of his sons had raped one of his daughters. Another revolted against him to take the throne from him by force, Absalom, a son David greatly loved. When David's son by Bathsheba had died, his courtiers were anxious about letting him know, as David had been refusing food and drink in his grief over the child's illness. He had struggled in coping with his grief.

Now near the end of his reign, David's beloved son, Absalom, began attempting to wrest the throne away, and David found himself conflicted over how to respond to his son's treason and treachery. As his army prepared to fight Absalom's forces, David gave them strict orders for his son to be spared. He was at war with his son, yet he loved him the same. He plac ...

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