“My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Sam 18:30
A father's love never dies. Even though David's son Absalom plotted against his father, David could not stop loving him. Learning that all of Jerusalem had turned against him, David flees to the Mount of Olives. When Absalom chases his father intending to kill him, he gets caught by the hair in an oak tree. Hanging there, one of David's servants sees him and reports what he has seen to Joab, Knowing Absalom intent, Joab kills's Absalom, but when David hears of his son's death he is devastated. Despite Absalom's rebellion and desire to kill him, David cannot forget that Absalom is his son and wishes that he had died himself.
David's lament echoes through the centuries. How often we are disappointed in those closest to us, especially when they choose a path that seems so different from one we taught and try to walk. How often we are disappointed in ourselves! Only when we allow God to direct our lives and show us the path to authentic peace can we hope to live humbly and honestly.
The awful lesson of David and Absalom's life can still teach us. Who we are, how we act and the example we give to others is more important than what we say or write. Our witness to a living God can be best heard by our willingness to care for the hungry, sick, imprisoned and lost. Nothing else really matters.
Today, think before you act or speak.