After two full years Absalom…invited all the king’s sons. 2 Samuel 13:23
After his sister Tamar had been horribly abused by Amnon, Absalom had set his heart on revenge. Two years later, Absalom was shearing his sheep in a remote village, and he invited all the king’s sons, including Amnon. And while they were there, Absalom killed his brother Amnon. It was a cold, brutal, premeditated murder.
Absalom then fled to a place called Geshur. And as Absalom fled, the rest of the king’s sons returned to their father. David mourned over the death of Amnon, his oldest son. He mourned over the way Amnon had lived his life and over the way that he had met his death. Then we are told that “the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom” (13:39).
Some of you know what this is like. You have a son or a daughter who is away from you, and away from God. There is a division in the family, and you wish it were not so. Absalom is a rebel son, but he is still David’s son, and David’s heart goes out to his son.
What prevented David from bringing his son back home? David was not only a father, he was also the king. And as king, he was the custodian of justice in the land. Absalom had committed an act of premeditated murder, and the law demanded the death of David’s son.
So David was caught in a great dilemma. He is a father, who longs to be reconciled to his son. He is the king, called to uphold a law that condemns his son. David is torn between these conflicting loyalties.
Is there a loved one who is away from you and away from God, and you long to be reconciled with him or her?