II Samuel 16:1-16:23 / John 18:25-19:24 / Psalm 119:113-128 / Proverbs 16:10-11

Standout Chapter: II Samuel 16
The tragic story of Absalom turning against his father David

These chapters are dark ones in David’s life and cause one to wonder what the outcome would have been if he’d handled things differently.  Clearly, he was dealing with his own personal troubles and the consequences of his sin with Bathsheba.  His focus was turned inward, away from his role of father, leaving his children to hash out their problems without essential wisdom and guidance.  His absence created a great void, and his family began to disinigrate. 

He must have sensed his children no longer respected him, and instead of trying to repair their trust, he shut down and backed away in silence, which only made their respect for him lessen.  In the end, Absalom fully turned against his father and attempted to draw the people’s hearts away from him and steal his throne.

What if David would have humbly gathered his children to himself and honestly confessed his sin? What if he then cast vision for the man he was determined to become once again – with God back in the center of his life?  What if he used his own shortcomings as a teaching tool for his family?  What if he’d taken the time to step in and speak truth to Ammon in regard to Tamar?  What if he had gotten involved in the situation instead of cowering on the sidelines?  What if he’d have taken a confident stand on God’s redemptive promise to take broken things and make them beautiful again?

We’ve all done things that have caused pain.  We’ve all messed up and fallen short.  We’ve all been disappointing at one time or another.  But the fact is, OUR GOD FORGIVES and REDEEMS THOSE WHOSE HEARTS ARE COMMITTED TO HIM AND HIS WAYS.  Let this GOOD NEWS spur us on to LIVE AS RESCUED, RESTORED PEOPLE WHO CAN CONFIDENTLY STAKE OUR FUTURES ON THE TRUTH OF GOD’S KINDNESS AND HIS PROMISE THAT HE WILL GIVE US A FUTURE AND A HOPE!  

It’s from that place we can STAND UP to lead and teach our children.  IT’S FROM THAT PLACE OUR FIRE CAN BE IGNITED, (OR RE-IGNITED!) INSTEAD OF SNUFFED OUT. 

There are no “perfect” people – only people who are being “perfected” as they walk their lives out with the Lord in the lead.  Let’s not allow our past sin and failure to define us and stop us from engaging in one of the most important roles God has given us – to lead our families!

Our great hope should be that our children will learn from our experience and wisdom and identify and avoid the pitfalls we have navigated.  We should never leave them to fend for themselves just because we've made mistakes.  Rather, our love for our children should drive us to be MORE INVOLVED THAN EVER using our experience to lead, direct and guide them!