Please Be Gentle
Verse 5 The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, "Be gentle with young man Absalom for my sake." And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders.
As David's troops set out for battle one thing was quite heavy on the king's heart. While his men were doing their part to make sure their beloved leader was safe they were missing the other part of what was going on. They saw the physical part of the battle but were missing the emotional battle that the was going on. They saw the physical part of the battle but were missing the emotional battle that the king was having in his own heart.
The king understood what this battle meant but it wasn't what he wanted for his family. He knew it was his past choices which led to this fracture in not just his family but also the kingdom. He knew he hadn't been the best father but that didn't mean he didn't love his family and want what was best for them. He didn't want to lose another son, especially this way.
David knew he couldn't stop the battle from happening but he had to do everything in his power to stop the murder of his son. It didn't matter to him what his son wanted, he wasn't going to let this battle change their family. He would love Absalom until the king breathed his last. It was this love which led the king to watch his men go out to battle against his son and the reason he sent them out with a direct order to be gentle with the prince.
Joab, Abishai and Ittai knew in a battle there were sides. One side wanted to overtake and sometimes even annihilate the other side. They also knew this would be slightly different because they were fighting against their own king's son. This was not going to be like the other battles they had been involved in. When the king told them to be gentle with Absalom they knew it was the king's heart which was giving the order. This was another reason they didn't need him on the battlefield, he wasn't thinking with lack of emotion. That could be dangerous.
David watched the men march off and knew that even with his words of caution something could happen to his son. He didn't know what the outcome would be, he could lose the throne, his son or just many of his men. One thing he did know, he had done all he could do to keep his son from being murdered, he just hoped it was enough.
Making It Personal
Have you ever been in a position where you felt like there was nothing you could do to stop something bad from happening? How did you handle the situation? Who did you turn to for help?
Making It Personal Kids¶
Have you ever felt like you needed help because you didn't know how to keep a bad thing from happening? Who came to help you? How can Jesus help in those times?
Father, seeing David's heart about this battle against Absalom we can't help but see a glimpse of Your heart in sending Your Son into the battle for our souls. Give us eyes to see the battle of other people's hearts so we can stand with them in their struggles. In Jesus' name, amen.