O My Son Absalom

Claudia Elzinga

READ : 2 Samuel 17-18

Ahithophel urges Absalom to send a force against David at once while Hushai advises him to wait to gather a large army. He heeds the advice of Hushai. The Bible gives this explanation: “For the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring evil upon Absalom” (17:14). On the one hand, the Bible teaches that we are responsible for our decisions; on the other hand, that the sovereign God controls them. This is a paradox we cannot understand, but we must hold to both sides of the paradox.

David’s men defeat Absalom’s. The beautiful long hair that had been Absalom’s glory becomes his downfall as his head is caught in a tree letting him hang as his mule runs on. Others dare not kill him, but Joab thrusts darts into his heart. When the messengers tell David of the victory, his concern is for the fate of Absalom, and hearing that he has been killed, he cries out, “O my son Absalom . . . Would I had died instead of you” (18:33).

What tragic events result from David’s terrible sin and the sins of Joab, Absalom and others! The Bible is full of examples to warn us of the consequences of sin, but only those who know the contents of the Bible will benefit from such warnings.

PRAYERFather, give us wisdom to be creative in plans to overcome the biblical illiteracy of our day. In Christ. Amen.