Prayer Focus: Denmark

Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 16-18

Scripture

31 And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the LORD has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” 32 The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.” 33  And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:31–33 ESV

Observation

Absalom betrayed his father, David.  Absalom insulted David, drove him off, stole the throne, defiled his concubines, and even tried to kill him.  In the end, Absalom’s ego get’s the best of him.  He follows the advice of a man who turns out to be a spy for David, starts an all out war against David and those loyal to him, and is killed in the process.

In all of that, David still did not want his son harmed.  David weeps for the death of his son, even to the point of wishing he had been the one to die.  David is a passionate man; unafraid to rejoice, or weep, or anything in between, in public.

Application

As a parent you go through phases that sort of work out to: pregnancy, they can’t survive without you,  they don’t want to be without you, they want you a little less, they want you a lot less, and finally they need to make a clean break.  But having moved out of my parent’s house almost 20 years ago I can see that the break isn’t really all that clean.  Not that I wanted it to be.  In fact, seeing the stability of my parents today, I think I love and appreciate them more now then when I was totally dependent on them.

My wife and I are deep in the “they want you a lot less” phase and rapidly approaching that “not so clean break phase.”  More and more often we’re using the phrase, “When you’re on your own,” and it’s no longer a hypothetical future tense kind of phrase.  I used to look forward to that, but now not so much.  I’m very proud of my kids and I’ve grown to trust them and they’ve never betrayed me.  Granted, I don’t have a throne to steal, but if something happened to my kids I would weep and when something good happens I rejoice.  And as long as I live that will be the case.

You never stop being a parent.

So, it’s not so counter-intuitive that David would weep at the death of his son.  Maybe David held himself at fault for Absalom’s betrayal.  After all, part of Absalom’s betrayal was simply fulfilling the prophecy against David because of the terrible thing David did (2 Samuel 7-12).

For good, or ill, you never stop being a parent.

Children are a reflection of their parent’s.  Sometimes the reflection is very clear and sometimes not, but it’s always there.  Ed Cole once said, “Our children may not always listen to us, but they will always imitate us.”  Wise words.

You will never stop being a parent, so set the right example; early, often, always.

Prayer

Lord, I’m certainly not the perfect parent, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am a parent.  Lead me, so I can lead them, so they will see You and when they are on their own they will know that You are always with them.  Raise up our next generation to be great men and women of God.  Amen.

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