2 Samuel 18:19-33
19 Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, “Let me run and take the news to the king that the Lord has vindicated him by delivering him from the hand of his enemies.” 20 “You are not the one to take the news today,” Joab told him. “You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to a Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” The Cushite bowed down before Joab and ran off. 22 Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, “Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite.” But Joab replied, “My son, why do you want to go? You don’t have any news that will bring you a reward.” 23 He said, “Come what may, I want to run.” So Joab said, “Run!” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain[a] and outran the Cushite. 24 While David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked out, he saw a man running alone. 25 The watchman called out to the king and reported it. The king said, “If he is alone, he must have good news.” And the runner came closer and closer. 26 Then the watchman saw another runner, and he called down to the gatekeeper, “Look, another man running alone!” The king said, “He must be bringing good news, too.” 27 The watchman said, “It seems to me that the first one runs like Ahimaaz son of Zadok.” “He’s a good man,” the king said. “He comes with good news.” 28 Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well!” He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise be to the Lord your God! He has delivered up those who lifted their hands against my lord the king.” 29 The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “I saw great confusion just as Joab was about to send the king’s servant and me, your servant, but I don’t know what it was.” 30 The king said, “Stand aside and wait here.” So he stepped aside and stood there. 31 Then the Cushite arrived and said, “My lord the king, hear the good news! The Lord has vindicated you today by delivering you from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” The Cushite replied, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.” 33 The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!”
David cops a fair bit of criticism as father, and not without good reason. But not many fathers have their lives recorded and scrutinised as he did. Even though this is the conclusion to an attempted coup, at the heart of this passage is a real family struggle. All families have them, just not usually this deadly.
From this story, and the many other stories of father’s in the bible, as well as remembering my own father, I am learning a lot about the father heart of God towards me.
Absalom set his heart to killing his own father, and led an army against David. Tragically, Absalom is killed and the news of Absalom’s death is sent to David. When David hears of Absalom’s death his immediate reaction is to grieve and really mourn the loss of his son. This son wanted to murder his own dad and his father mourns when hearing he has died. Whatever you think of David as a father, he deeply loved all his children.
If an imperfect earthly father loves his children so much, how much more does our perfect heavenly father love us? The bible tells us. Romans 5:8. But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us WHILE WE WERE STILL SINNERS. Romans 5:10 We are restored to God by the death of his son while we were still his enemies.
Do you think God doesn’t or couldn’t or won’t love you? Think again. He already does, and always will. Can God love you more than he already does?
Heavenly father, I am overwhelmed by your amazing and unconditional love for me.
Written by Andrew Martin