With his dying breath, he pointed his finger at the young assailant. His son was his killer! Many movies and novels have this plot twist at the end. A criminal mastermind or assassin raises their children, inculcating them with a lifetime of knowledge. Hopeful that their child will carry on their legacy, they succeed, but at the cost of their own life. They have trained their child too well!
The Bible records a similar sad tale with King David and his son, Absalom.
No man in all Israel was as handsome and highly praised as Absalom. From the sole of his foot to the top of his head, he did not have a single flaw.
2 Samuel 14:25 (CSB)
Although he was one of David’s favorite sons, Absalom was estranged from his father after he killed David’s first son and his half-brother, Amnon, who raped Absalom’s sister, Tamar, two years earlier. After the murder, Absalom fled Jerusalem and found refuge with the King of Geshur. Three more years passed before David reconciled with him and invited him to return to Jerusalem. However, even in Jerusalem, David did not rekindle the close relationship he once had with him. Resentful, Absalom planned a coup. Charming, handsome, intelligent, and eloquent-he had learned from the best. God blessed David with many skills. David’s own son also learned his lessons well with this tragic result.
…So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.
2 Samuel 15:6 (CSB)
Absalom led a successful coup and captured the Kingdom of Israel, forcing David to flee. God protected David and, in spite of overwhelming odds, defeated Absalom’s army, resulting in Absalom’s death.
We train our children with the best of intentions, hoping they will learn the skills that have made us successful and avoid the mistakes we have made. Some families are fortunate to have their children take over the family business. Others, like David, have the misfortune to have their own children take their best skills to be used against them. What hope do we have for our children?
The answer can be found with David. Although he was blessed by God, he had many faults, even orchestrating the murder of one of his trusted military commanders after he committed adultery with his wife. So how could David be called a man after God’s own heart (1 Samuel 13:14)? Even when he was being hunted by his own son, David still loved Absalom and extended his grace and mercy to him. The bond between a parent and child is sacred. God’s heart is filled with grace and mercy for us. If you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a child of God, a fellow heir with Jesus Christ. Even when we sin against our Heavenly Father, He always forgives us if we truly repent of our sins and turn from our ways.
Some of us are fortunate to have received admirable life skills from our parents. Yet, it is still our responsibility to embrace these skills and use them for good rather than evil.
Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.