A Brokenhearted Father

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. 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 18:32,33 KJV).

What parenting lesson can we learn here?

It is an understatement to say that King David was emotionally shattered. His son Absalom had been killed—murdered by some of David’s impulsive military officials (verses 9-17). Upon hearing of Absalom’s slaying, he probably reflected on his parental shortcomings that had led up to this most disastrous outcome. Indeed, he had not been a good father to any of his children.

Amnon, David’s firstborn, raped his sister Tamar (David’s daughter), but David neither consoled Tamar nor punished Amnon (2 Samuel 13:1-21). When Absalom murdered his brother for assaulting his sister, Absalom fled to a foreign land for three years (verses 23-39). Only after being pressurized did David finally send for Absalom from exile (2 Samuel 14:1-24). Nevertheless, when Absalom returned to Jerusalem, David did not see him in-person for two years (2 Samuel 14:28). After meeting his father, Absalom eventually incited a coup and David had to flee his throne (2 Samuel chapters 15–17).

In the chapter of today’s Scripture, David commanded his servants to bring Absalom alive (verses 5,12). Instead, they killed the young man! It was such a terrible, heart-wrenching life that David could have caused his son to avoid. Absalom’s many transgressions could have been minimized had his father taken the opportunity to follow Deuteronomy 6:7 and Deuteronomy 11:19. We find similar wording in Ephesians 6:4: “And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture [care] and admonition [instruction] of the Lord.” Alas, it was too late for poor Absalom to hear God’s words from his father’s lips—he was dead!

Friends, what we can learn here is to train our children in the Scriptures, before their lives are ruined or tragically cut short.

Our latest Bible Q&A: “What advice can be given to Christians coping with the death of another saint?

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #6

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

Re-reading 2 Samuel chapter 12: “[5] And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: [6] And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. [7] And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man….” David never forgot his solemn words: he DID INDEED restore fourfold!!!

Solomon’s older brother—David’s first child with Bathsheba, an unnamed newborn (?) baby—died. David’s firstborn son, Amnon, was then assassinated. Next, Absalom, Amnon’s younger brother, was murdered. Burying three of his children was most difficult for David. After his demise, though, a fourth son died. Adonijah, Solomon’s older half-brother, twice endeavored to usurp David’s throne that God promised to Solomon; Solomon finally executed Adonijah. Yea, as God predicted, David’s house would perpetually experience violence (see 2 Samuel 12:10). In addition to the above four deaths, several decades later, David’s royal descendants died prematurely in 2 Kings 11:1-2 and 21:23.

Dear friends, stop and think. These Scriptures are not “dead history” or “superstitious fairytales.” Our sin comes at a price—VERY HIGH!! It not only negatively impacts us, but those around us… not just now, but for decades or centuries to come!! It ultimately cost the Lord Jesus Christ His life to pay for our sins! No, David did not die because of his sin with Bathsheba—but four of his sons did! Never forget, dear brethren, sin is serious beyond imagination. BEFORE we act, we had better think long and hard of the consequences!!!!!

As Christians, let us remember: “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting” (Galatians 6:7,8).

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #5

Monday, February 19, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

Over a decade after Absalom’s murder—just prior to David’s death and Solomon’s ascension to the throne—Solomon’s half-brother Adonijah plots to become David’s successor. (Second Samuel 3:2-4 states Adonijah is a younger brother of deceased Amnon and expired Absalom.)

As 1 Kings chapter 1 unfolds, the Prophet Nathan and Solomon’s mother Bathsheba foil Adonijah’s first attempt to seize David’s throne. Before David expires, he follows God’s orders and pronounces Solomon as king. “And Solomon said, If he will shew himself a worthy man, there shall not an hair of him fall to the earth: but if wickedness shall be found in him, he shall die” (1 Kings 1:50-53). Solomon, now king, warns his older half-brother Adonijah not to try to steal Israel’s throne again. Chapter 2 begins with David’s death, and then delineates how Adonijah schemes a second time to take Solomon’s throne.

As per Solomon’s decree, evil Adonijah must be put to death: “[22] And king Solomon answered and said unto his mother, And why dost thou ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? ask for him the kingdom also; for he is mine elder brother; even for him, and for Abiathar the priest, and for Joab the son of Zeruiah. [23] Then king Solomon sware by the LORD, saying, God do so to me, and more also, if Adonijah have not spoken this word against his own life. [24] Now therefore, as the LORD liveth, which hath established me, and set me on the throne of David my father, and who hath made me an house, as he promised, Adonijah shall be put to death this day. [25] And king Solomon sent by the hand of Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he fell upon him that he died.”

Adonijah, David’s fourth son, is executed. Today’s Scripture has been met. Departed David, fortunately, never saw this fourth funeral. Now, let us summarize and conclude….

Our two latest Bible Q&As: “What is the ‘purtenance?’” and “What is the ‘caul?’

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #4

Sunday, February 18, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

Once Absalom assassinated his half-brother Amnon for raping his sister Tamar, he fled to his mother’s relatives in Geshur (2 Samuel 13:37-39). For three years Absalom was exiled. In chapter 14, Joab, commander of King David’s army, arranged Absalom’s return to Jerusalem. Chapter 15 documents how handsome Absalom captivated the Jews. Inciting an uprising, he assumed his father David’s throne, David thus swiftly absconding Jerusalem.

Chapter 18 reports: “[5] And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom. And all the people heard when the king gave all the captains charge concerning Absalom…. [9] And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.

“[10] And a certain man saw it, and told Joab, and said, Behold, I saw Absalom hanged in an oak. [11] And Joab said unto the man that told him, And, behold, thou sawest him, and why didst thou not smite him there to the ground? and I would have given thee ten shekels of silver, and a girdle…. [14] Then said Joab, I may not tarry thus with thee. And he took three darts [spears] in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak. [15] And ten young men that bare Joab’s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him. [17] And they took Absalom, and cast him into a great pit in the wood….”

David wanted beloved Absalom apprehended alive; sadly, David’s servants executed him. King David is utterly heartbroken (2 Samuel 18:31–19:4). Absalom is the third son he must bury. Yet, one more son must perish….

Thou Art The Man to Restore—Times Four #3

Saturday, February 17, 2018

“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).

How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?

A few years after David and Bathsheba’s baby died, Amnon—David’s firstborn son (2 Samuel 3:2)—schemed to eventually rape his half-sister Tamar. Although king of Israel, appointed to lead God’s people in His ways, David does not punish his son and does not comfort his daughter. You can read the horrific account in 2 Samuel 13:1-22 if you desire. As the second half of the chapter now proves, Absalom—Tamar’s brother and Amnon’s half-brother—will take vengeance where their father David did not.

“[28] Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant. [29] And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled.

“[30] And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left. [31] Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. [32] And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. [33] Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead. [34] But Absalom fled….”

Amnon is the second son of David to perish. However, as per today’s Scripture, there are two more impending and heartrending deaths….