Text:2 Samuel 18:1-18
The feud between David and his son Absalom came to a climax in this reading. Absalom was determined to destroy his own father and become king. This is a very bitter pill to swallow. A man and his son becoming enemies to the point of drawing swords is such a sad situation, yet many parents are at this point. Jesus did warn in the gospels that the enemies of a man will be the people of his own house. David obviously had more trouble than he bargained for in trying to destroy Uriah’s family. Man must beware of repercussions, for God is a God of justice.
Yet, in the midst of all these, we see David depicting the heart of a true father. The heart of every well meaning parent whose son has turned prodigal is that the son be reinstated. The father always yearns in for the repentance of his son. David pleaded with the captains of the army to spare the life of Absalom in this civil war. His heart cannot bear the thought of losing his child. Sadly, Absalom couldn’t make it.
This gesture of David depicts the heart of God towards all lost souls yet to come to Christ. In Luke 15, Jesus gave that classical parable about the prodigal son. Consider that we all at our best as unbelievers, were just prodigals and rebels but the father kept waiting eagerly for us to come home. He is always the first to extend the olive branch. This heart of mercy should also be found in us when dealing with erring sons and daughters both biological and spiritual. We must fight the urge to hate, abandon, abuse, curse, or disown, but rather make our hearts elastic in pursuing the eternal goal of saving their souls.
In some cases, the drama is the other way round where the father is the hunter and the son the prey. In this part of the world we often hear about ritual killings where some fathers sacrifice their children to idol gods and demons for money. Or sons doing the opposite through occultism. This is a battle even greater than the physical one being described in today’s bible reading. When through prophecy such is revealed, there’s always war. For a true believer, the mechanism of the war remains the same. In love, we must travail in prayers for the lost soul. If it is God’s will He will still restore those he has predestined to save. We must avoid the pressure to disown them as family or become fearful of their demonic powers which brings panic, instead we must trust God and do good even to our “enemies” for the battle actually is not ours but Gods.
PRAYER; father for grace to live above our hurts and for compassionate forgiving hearts towards our erring family members we beseech you, trusting that you are able to keep us safe from any murderous intentions of theirs towards us through Christ Jesus, Amen.