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Tragedy and Triumph | A Study in 2 Samuel | A silver crown and a sword Tragedy and Triumph | A Study in 2 Samuel | A silver crown and a sword

Daily Devotional | Absalom, O Absalom!

Have you ever had to be the bearer of bad news? For most managers, the worst part of their job is having to inform people they have been laid off. Or perhaps you were the first person to break the news that someone’s dear friend has lost their battle with cancer or some other disease. Even if the news does not directly affect us, bringing bad news is its own kind of painful experience.

Absalom’s revolt has failed. The priest Ahimaaz wanted to bring this news to David (v. 19). Joab understood that Absalom’s death would not be seen as good news by the king. He instead entrusted the message to a foreigner (v. 21). Yet, Ahimaaz was undeterred. He ran after the Cushite and was the first to reach the king. He reported to David that the battle had been won but was silent regarding the fate of Absalom (vv. 28–29). The Cushite then appeared and told David of Absalom’s fate (v. 33).

David’s grief was overwhelming. David had always been a man of words. From the shepherd boy who challenged Goliath to the Psalmist who described God as his shepherd. Now we find him repeating Absalom’s name, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom!” (v. 33).

Why does the biblical author describe David’s grief in such vivid detail? David’s grief is more than just sorrow at the loss of a son. Packed into this expression of grief is a note of regret. David knew that all this was the fulfillment of God’s judgment (2 Sam. 12:10). While God forgave his sin, he still reaped the consequences.

>> David’s grief and regret remind us of the painful consequences of sin. It also points us to the only One who can deliver us, the Lord Jesus (Matt. 1:21). Jesus also wept at the weight of sin (Matt. 26:38). Yet, His obedience to the point of death means life and salvation for us all.

Pray with Us

The curse of sin manifests in a thousand agonizing ways. Thank You, Father, for sending Jesus to deliver us from endless consequences and regret. By the blood of Christ, we can count on one day leaving sin behind.

BY Ryan Cook

Dr. Ryan Cook has taught at Moody Bible Institute since 2012. He earned his bachelor of arts in Bible and Theology from Moody and his master of arts in Old Testament from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He has worked in Christian education and served as a pastor in Michigan for seven years. During his time as a professor at Moody, he earned his doctorate from Asbury Theological Seminary. He now lives with his wife, Ashley, and their three children in the Chicagoland area.

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