2 Tim 3:16
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.
The Old Testament is therefore equally important to the New Testament for today’s life.
Our scripture for today is from the Old Testament 2 Sam 18: 1- 33. It is important to read all of the quoted scripture as we need to know the background.
King David set up his army with disciplined men, under which were veterans whose skills and experience made an immeasurable positive contribution on the battlefield.
On the other hand, Absalom was a man with a rebellious spirit and thought that the secret of winning the battle would be in numbers. He even rebelled against his own father, King David. Absalom gathered all Israel to him.
Absalom had a vast body of rebellious men versus King David’s disciplined veterans. The result was that when the rebels came to close quarters, they had a vast body of men, but David a disciplined force, which, under skilful generalship, scattered Absalom’s raw levies with ease.
Here we find a sad case of a rebellious son that turns against his own father and was even prepared to war against him as an enemy.
Alarm for his son is the dominant feeling in the father’s mind; his parental concern no matter the son’s rebellious behaviour.
2 Sam 18:4 And the king said unto them, What seemeth you best I will do. And the king stood by the gate side, and all the people came out by hundreds and by thousands.
2 Sam 18:5 And the king commanded Joab and Abishai and Ittai, saying, Deal gently for my sake with the young man, even with Absalom.
“Deal gently with the young man….” Can you hear the loving father’s heart, the concern, the love that does not want the child to get hurt, although the son is rebellious, lost and had a hardened heart. “Deal gently…”
Meanwhile the battle was fiercely going on, and Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that was under him went away.
Now in all probability, Joab felt about Absalom, as many of us feels about the neighbour’s naughty child: most resentful. Joab found the perfect opportunity to take revenge on Absalom for being a victim of one of his tricks. And he took three darts in his hand, and thrust them through the heart of Absalom, while he was yet alive in the midst of the oak.
This act was sweet revenge for Joab but for King David, utter sorrow and pain. We read in verse 33: And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
In the same way, God has only the best intentions for every living soul on earth. Although God doesn’t want us to get hurt or to be defeated, there are many people, men and women, living with rebellion in their hearts, rebellion against their Heavenly Father.
Rebellion causes us not to appreciate the love of the Father, or the kindness of His heart. Rebellion causes us to see His love as interference and old fashioned. . . . Narrow-minded. . . . Annoying.
Because of rebellion against our Heavenly Father, the rebellious sons and daughters shows no respect towards the Father and his Word and the house of God. The rebels tramples upon the Fathers love and compassion.
Surely the Father is just as moved over His rebellious sons and daughters, as King David was over the rebellion of his son. . . . and even more. See verse 33
The spirit of Joab was one of revenge, hard-heartedness and without love. Joab’s hard-heartedness led him to be undisciplined, and his veteran experience got lost. King David trusted Joab to look after his son Absalom, but Joab failed him and instead left him with bitter grieve.
It is time we do a bit of introspection to see where we stand.
Do we live in rebellion against the Father or do we obey His Word?
Do I still respect the place of worship as the house of God?
Do I respect and love my neighbour as myself?. . . . the naughty ones as well?
The Heavenly Father says: “Deal gently with my child. . . ” because He loves you! Yes you!