A Word For Living
March 26, 2009
March 26, 2009
King David’s son, Absalom, was a man with unlimited potential who failed to realize that potential not subject God’s authority, is bound to bring disappointment and destruction. Absalom was obviously David’s favorite. He had long flowing locks and drew people to himself easily. His place of favor might have influenced him to believe he could act with impunity against his father’s wishes. However, his growing disregard for the authority of his father, led him to murder his brother for an act of violence against his sister.
His imprudent act resulted in his being banished from the kingdom for a time, but he soon wormed his way back into the kingdom and eventually into the palace itself. Once ensconced again at the gate of the city, a place of influence, he began to undermine his father’s regime by subtle ways. His subtlety eventually turned to outright rebellion, and he stole the hearts of the people and created such an environment that David had to flee for his life.
Those loyal to David, including his general, Joab, wanted to kill Absalom for his inciting of the rebellion, but David continued to hold out hope that the matter could be resolved peacefully. However, during a battle when Absalom was defeated by David’s army and he was fleeing, his long hair became entangled in the limbs of a tree and unseated him from his galloping horse. When he was discovered, Joab, had him killed.
David wept bitterly when he heard of his son’s death, but there was nothing more he could do as he again ascended the throne.
Several points jump out at us from this story: First, David failed to teach his son proper respect for God established authority. Second, Absalom seemed to have no sense of God’s leadership in his life. Third, David was willing to subject the kingdom to vulnerability in order to satisfy his own personal desires. Fourth, David seemed indifferent to, or ignorant of, the subversive actions of his own son. Fifth, David’s failures in regards to his son brought about his own ignominious retreat and the death of his favorite son.
It might be appropriate, in light of world conditions, for us to consider those we love and what we are teaching them. I pray that we will remember that children are an heritage of The LORD, and parents are expected, yes even commanded to train them up in such a way that they will know God’s way. More and more I hear parents lament their children’s lack of discipline, but when I ask if discipline has been taught and the “rod of understanding applied to the seat of understanding”, I am thought of as barbaric.
Dear Friends, rather we be thought of as barbaric than we allow our little ones to grow up without a sense of right and wrong. Scripture tells us to not despair when they cry, because they will not die. I’m not speaking of harsh cruelty. I am speaking of the need to exercise Biblical Discipline with love.