Among the responsibilities of running a kingdom, which required fighting many battles, the honor of writing psalms, and the desire to build a Temple for the Lord he loved, King David was surrounded by a challenging family life. At this point in his life, David had several concubines and a few wives including Bathsheba, who had been the wife of one of his great warriors. Bathsheba and David mourned the death of their first baby. Then Solomon was born and this little one was added to the great number of King David’s children, many of whom were grown.
It is in this complex family tree that we find tragedy: Amnon, David’s son by one of his wives, raped Tamar, David’s daughter by another of his wives. Absalom, the brother of the defiled girl, planned to take revenge. Absalom invited King David and all of the king’s sons to his home for a feast, as it was sheep sheering time. But David told Absalom, “No, my son. If we all came, we would be too much of a burden on you.” Absalom pressed him, but the king would not come, though he gave Absalom his blessing. Although David did not go to Absalom’s party, the others did, and that day Absalom took justice into his own hands, and killed his brother Amnon.
Even as king, David was not exempt from the deep pain caused by those closest to him. It is hard to really imagine the shock, anger, and grief that David and his various wives must have felt during this tragic time. Dysfunctional families are not a modern day phenomenon. And it is not a mystery that our actions come from our thoughts; and consequences, good and bad, will eventually follow what we choose to do. Circumstances can certainly get complicated.
When I think of David, the thoughts that come to my mind are a shepherd boy, a brave giant slayer, a gifted musician, a mighty warrior, a great king and a man after God’s own heart. David was all of these things but maybe the role many of us can relate to most naturally is that of his role as a parent. David was the kind of father who wanted to bless his children, even the child intent on revenge.
Our Heavenly Father, no matter what role or position or title we may bear, I pray that as parents (or as aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, friends) we would seek You and Your wisdom and we would invest wisely in those You have blessed us with. Help us, Lord God, to be part of the solution in a world that needs to see Your love in action. Justice and mercy can best be pursued when we choose to walk humbly with You. Lead us Father to love like You love. Amen.
2 Samuel 13:25 NLT