Saturday, October 8, 2011

2 Samuel 18 - Absalom is Slain

LINK: 2 Samuel 18

BACKGROUND

David's army went out to defeat Absalom's army, and David had one request: "Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom." Absalom's army was routed, and on his retreat on a mule, his phenomenal head of hair (noted in 14:25-26) caught on a tree. David's soldiers had heard David's request to be gentle to Absalom, but Joab did not honor it and slayed him mercilessly. Absalom was buried in a pit with memorial stones heaped on top even though Absalom had already erected a monument for himself (See Joshua 4:5-9 and Joshua 7:20-26 for two other examples when stones were heaped). What a contrast!

Ahimaaz (David's courier) and the Cushite raced to tell David. Commentators believe Joab wanted the Cushite to go first because the Cushite was more "expendable" than Ahimaaz, and Joab might have been afraid David would kill the messenger like he did in 2 Samuel 1:13-15. When David heard the news, he mourned the loss of his son turned enemy, Absalom.

REFLECTION/APPLICATION

A reflection from the Daily Walk about parenting:
"This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you" is probably one of the most unbelievable things a parent can say to a child--at least from the child's perspective! Though the parent's words are sincere, the child finds them hard to believe since it isn't Mom or Dad who feels the sting of punishment. 
Discipline, regardless of the form it takes, is never pleasant at the moment (Hebrews 12:11). But it is necessary to ensure that both parent and child aren't hurt even more in the future when they begin to reap the consequences of a lack of discipline.
King David, preoccupied with his royal duties, allowed his wayward son to continue in disobedience. Had David attempted to curb Absalom's rebellion, it would have been painful--but not nearly as painful as the grief David experienced when his son planned a revolt against him and then died a rebel.
Do you see discipline as a pain to be avoided, or a means of avoiding pain? Write down three reasons why children need to be disciplined in love. As a parent or for yourself, learn from David's sad example. 
(Daily Walk, March 2008)
No matter what "plan" you follow regarding discipline of your kids. The key is to have some kind of loving plan, be on the same page as your spouse with that plan, and to be consistent with the plan!
All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness. 
(Hebrews 12:11)

PRAYER

God, I pray that You will give each person reading this post a plan for raising their children in a way that honors and glorifies You. I ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.
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