2 Samuel 18

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‘Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!”’ (2 Samuel 18:33 NKJV).

June 1, 2017

David’s grief at news of his son’s death is perhaps the most vivid expression of mourning in the Bible. He was “deeply moved” when he heard the news. The Hebrew word here refers to a “violent trembling” of the body. David was wracked with grief. His weeping could be heard by all those returning from successfully defending the king. Yet, their sense of victory was dulled by the king’s wailing.

Surely David’s grief was magnified by his own sense of regret as a father, knowing that it was his own sin that sowed the seeds to Absalom’s rebellion. However, David the father had forgotten his role as David the king, and this negligence could’ve led to his demise had not Joab intervened.

Yet, even in this sad picture we catch a glimpse of our Savior’s love for us. For He loved and wept over us while we were still sinners in rebellion against Him.

Remember His lament over Jerusalem the week of His passion? “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!” (Matt. 23:37).

Like David, Christ declared His desire to “die in our place,” and more than that, He actually came down and took our death, that we might receive His life.