(2 Samuel 13: 37-39) 37 And David mourned many days for his son Amnon. Absalom fled to his grandfather, Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. 38 He stayed there in Geshur for three years. 39 And King David, now reconciled to Amnon’s death, longed to be reunited with his son Absalom.
How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
– “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” by Stuart Townend
The story of Absalom, Amnon and Tamar is difficult to read and thus, to stomach. But that’s the way of sin, isn’t it? Here we have a brother, Absalom, the eldest child of King David, his sister, Tamar, and their half-brother, Amnon, who has fallen in love (more like lust, from my understanding) with Tamar. He can’t seem to shake his urges and feelings, and devises a plan to rape and shame poor Tamar. She runs to her big brother, like so many sisters would do, and he vows to avenge her disgrace. It takes couple of years, but the opportunity comes, and Absalom kills his brother, Amnon, in an anger-fueled attempt to right a wrong.
Now, you may read this story and think, “I would have killed him too! Go Absalom!” I must admit, that’s what I always think. What Amnon did was deplorable, disgusting, and low. As a woman, I feel outraged on behalf of Tamar! To the outsider who is merely looking in, Amnon deserved what was coming to him. Right? But how do you think their father, David, felt? Imagine the grief he felt for all three of his children. What an awful place for him to be put into as their parent! And you can’t much blame Absalom for fleeing the way that he did. He knew that, beyond the justification he felt for it, what he’d done was to be met with outrage and consequence. Why? Because no matter what we do, no matter how low and despicable we get, our parents love us. Further still…God’s love for us transcends even that of our parents’ love.
So even though Amnon had done wrong, David loved him still. He looked past what he’d done and simply grieved the loss of his son. Likewise, he was able to look past what Absalom had done, which was equally wrong, and longed to reunite with him. That’s the love of a parent. It looks past transgression and sees into the heart of who we are, and it always forgives. And that, my friends, is the love of God. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. God, our Heavenly Father, longs to be reunited with you today…right now. You have only to believe, to confess, and to return His love with your own.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I come to You today humbled in spirit. I believe that You sent Your son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross for my sin. I acknowledge Him as my Lord and Savior. I recognize my wrongs as such, and I ask you to forgive me, to sustain me, and to be my help when I fall. Thank You, Lord, for your everlasting love. Amen.