Saturday 29 January 2022

Bible Book:
2 Samuel

It was told Joab, ‘The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.’ So the victory that day was turned into mourning for all the troops; for the troops heard that day, ‘The king is grieving for his son.’ (vs 1-2)

2 Samuel 19:1-4 Saturday 29 January 2022

Psalm 130


The story of David and Absalom is one of conflict, love and grief.

Conflict: Absalom was the third son of King David. He decided to seize the throne from his father and proclaim himself king, and he gathered a growing following of people disaffected with King David. After initially fleeing, David’s army met Absalom’s army in the Wood of Ephraim.

Love: As he sent his troops into battle, David was clear that Absalom himself should not be harmed. Many parents have hopes and dreams for their children. David had called his newborn son 'Absalom’, which means, ‘father is peace’. How tragic that Absalom ended up being at war with his father.

Grief:  On hearing of Absalom’s death in the battle, David wept bitterly. Grief is an expression of love. We hear David's anguish in verse 4: "O my son Absalom, O Absalom, my son, my son!" The pain of grief is an intense and unfathomable sorrow.

Today we hear the cries of those who have lost loved ones in conflicts, such as those in Ethiopia and Myanmar. We hear the cries of those who have lost relatives in the COVID-19 pandemic and those who have lost children at sea or in overcrowded trucks as they sought a better life in another land.

Jesus was in conflict with the leaders of his people  in Jerusalem in the region of Judea. Though he was non-violent and taught his followers to love their enemies (Matthew 5:38-48), his life was under threat. Yet, he went to Judea when he heard that his friend Lazarus, whom he loved, had died. As he approached the tomb, Jesus was deeply moved in spirit and wept (John 11:1-44).

 In Christ, the God of love has experienced our grief and our conflicts; and, in Jesus, God offers us immeasurable love, new hope, new and eternal life, peace with God (Romans 5:1), and an invitation to work to transform relationships so that each one might be based on the justice and love that lead to true reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18). 


To Ponder:

  • What conflicts have you known?
  • When have you encountered God in grief?


For your loving and transforming presence with us always in Jesus, we thank you, O God, Amen.


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