Down Three Sons
2 Samuel 12:31-38
Verse 35 Jonadab said to the king, “See, the king’s sons have come; it has happened just as your servant said.”
David is mourning what he thinks is almost all his sons. He knew he was at least partly responsible because he hadn’t been the father he should have been. It wasn’t like he could go back and start over with them. They were adults after all, the king could only live with who they were. It would have been hard to see what they had become and know it was his choices that partly made them who they were.
Notice who it is that came in to calm David and tell him not all the sons were killed. None other than the one who had set this whole mess in progress, David’s nephew Jonadab. It would be interesting to know if he had felt regret about encouraging his cousin Amnon to take advantage of Tamar. Did the cousin realize what a horrible thing he had set in motion? Did he remain close to Amnon or did David’s oldest son resent him for his role in what had happened and push him out of his life? No matter his feelings about his role in his cousins hating each other, Jonadab tries to comfort his uncle to a degree. He didn’t ignore the problem and let his uncle suffer the pain of grieving for the majority of his sons.
This pain of losing his oldest son tore deep into David. This was the second son he had lost in the last few years. He had lost one son due to his sins of actions and had lost his oldest son because of his lack of standing up against sin. With his heart being after God’s own heart this truth about his lack of punishing sin must have cut him deep. It was another reminder from God that He desires His people to live holy lives.
But David wasn’t just losing two sons. A third son fled from his father. While David’s other sons came to the palace to mourn for Amnon, Absalom fled to his pagan grandfather. David was mourning a long time for Amnon but also thinking about Absalom. For three years Absalom stayed away from Israel. He had fled from the home he had known most of his life and had fled to the place where God was not worshiped.
Yes, David would grieve long for his son who was killed but as the time went on he would have started to grieve the spiritual loss of another son. It must have come to David’s mind at some point that his son had not only walked away from him but likely had walked away from God as well. One can’t easily live among pagans and remain in a good relationship with the Lord.
Making It Personal
Have you ever evaluated how your choices may affect others in your sphere of influence? How do you respond to someone in your life walking away from you? How about if they walk away from God?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever had a choice you made cause troubles for someone else? Has someone made a choice that caused problems for you? Can choices you make cause problems with your relationship with Jesus?
Father, we tend to get so wrapped up in our own choices that we forget how they may affect others. Give us wisdom in our choices so that we can make better choices for us and those around us. In Jesus’ name, amen.