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  • Writer's pictureEast Martin CRC

Tangled Emotions


2 Samuel 18:24-33

Verse 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.”


While Ahimaaz was busy passing the servant on their race to deliver the message to the king, the king’s lookout sees the young priest making his way to the city gate. He eagerly calls out to the king that a runner is coming. The king is thrilled as he knows a single runner means a message of good news instead of a retreat by his men.


As Ahimaaz got closer and closer the watchman sees the second runner coming and calls to the king with the news. The king sees this as another sign of more good news, little did he know this was a race to give him bad news. Then came the news from the watchtower that the first runner looked to be the young priest Ahimaaz. David saw that as another sign that it was good news headed his way.


The young priest bows dramatically in front of the king and then declares, “It all good! The Lord has delivered the king from his enemies!” The king doesn’t care as much about the results of the battle as he does about his son, this is where Ahimaaz goes off the truth script to save his standing with the king. He leads David to believe he left with Absalom was still alive. Of course this wasn’t true and even if he hadn’t had a hand in the murder, he knew it had happened.


Next came the servant also praising God for delivering the king from his enemies. Once again the king asks about his son. This time instead of hearing encouraging news he gets more of a punch in the stomach. Maybe even a double punch as the servant doesn’t even give Absalom the respect of mentioning his name but instead uses a more derogatory term for the young man.


The king was stunned. He went to the upper room and broke into sobs. This seems like an excessive display considering the harm this young man had done. He had murdered the king’s oldest son, held a revolt and even went on a mission to kill the king and yet the king is devastated at his death. Notice he calls Absalom, “My son” 5 times in verse 33. He even wishes he had died instead of his son. This emotion seems excessive considering his son wasn’t a worthy son. Maybe he was really mourning his failure as a father.


Making It Personal

When have you grieved more than necessary for something? What did that grief tell you about that items place in your heart? Do you grieve over time missed with God?


Making It Personal Kids

What kinds of things do you cry hard about? Why do you cry about those things? Are there good reasons to cry?


Closing Prayer

Father, we thank You for Jesus’ example of crying for someone He loved dearly. Help us know it ok to grieve for those we love. Give us wisdom about what is worth grieving over and what is painful because it holds a place You alone should hold. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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