The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to his room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I could have died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.” – 2 Samuel 18:33
There’s nothing like a family feud to crush your spirit! David knew all about that. To the boy David, a giant’s wounds were nothing compared to the hurt his older brother Eliab’s angry words caused. “What are you doing around here anyway? . . . What about those few sheep you’re supposed to be taking care of? I know about your pride and dishonesty. You just want to see the battle!” (1 Samuel 17:28).
You get the picture: a long-standing family problem—a big brother with a complex about his little brother, perhaps. Something like that can break your heart. Much later in his life, David was to have his heart broken yet again by another family feud. This time it was to be his own son—his favorite son—Absalom, who would steal away the people’s hearts, pursue his father to death, and try to seize his throne.
If anyone could talk about being brokenhearted, it was David. But, oh, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). After David had mourned for Absalom, perhaps he took that psalm out of the scroll shelf and reminded himself of the words he had penned.
Which of us does not know what it is like to lie awake all night worrying ourselves sick over members of our families who are at odds with each other? No one can hurt you like your family can. If such is our case, we can do the same as David!
For Further Study: 2 Samuel 18:19-33
Excerpted from The One Year Devotions for Women, Copyright ©2000 by Jill Briscoe. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.
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