If Your Child Goes Astray... Pray!

“Then Absalom would say to him, “Look, your case is good and right; but there is no deputy of the king to hear you.” Moreover Absalom would say, “Oh, that I were made judge in the land, and everyone who has any suit or cause would come to me; then I would give him justice.” And so it was, whenever anyone came near to bow down to him, that he would put out his hand and take him and kiss him. In this manner Absalom acted toward all Israel who came to the king for judgment. So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.”

2 Samuel 15:3-6

You have to appreciate Matthew Henry’s thoughts concerning Absalom’s desire for authority here in 2 Samuel 15 when he writes, “Those commonly are most eager for authority who least understand its duties.” The human heart is deceitfully wicked and above all things, who can know it the bible tells us and Absalom has no idea of what is in his own heart or what he desires or even what he is getting himself into. He only knows one thing from watching his fathers success, he wants a taste of it for himself. “Pride comes before a fall” and Absalom is going to fall hard.

I remember a story a wise friend shared with me in helping me understand the fickleness of humanity. The story is told of a bird that fell out of its nest one winter and was walking through a cow pasture when it started to snow. With nowhere to find cover from the storm the little bird became frozen in the snow. A cow standing nearby sees the plight of the freezing bird and knowing death was all but certain unless something was done meandered over and dropped a cow pie right on top of the bird. At first, the little bird thought to himself, “That’s just great, on top of all this a cow comes and drops one on me. After a few minutes though the bird began to feel the warmth coming back into his little body. A cat witnessing the whole thing comes and offers to help dig the little bird out of his stinky situation to which the little bird gladly received the cat’s help. No sooner had the cat helped to free the little bird and helped wash him up that the cat gulps the bird down in a single swallow to the poor little birds’ unfortunate death. The moral of the story is clear. Not everyone who poops on you is your enemy and not every one who helps you out is your friend. Absalom here is kissing the people (really he is kissing up) like a politician kisses babies at election time! Pure politics at its best is seen here and nothing more by Absalom.

Unfortunately, David does not control his son and will ultimately share in the grief that Absalom’s pride will bring upon the entire family. There is a great danger here when David isn’t clear on his sons intentions and opens the door even further for Absalom to exercise his self-will and begin to draw even more of Israel away from his father and into his own deception. There is an old saying that says, “Like kind attracts like kind” and the men Absalom has surrounded himself share the same goals and ultimately will likewise share the same demise as he. If the statement “misery loves company” is true it will be proven out here.

Fortunately, the scripture that says, “The glory of young men is their strength and of old men it is their gray hair”, (or wisdom) will prove true in David’s life. Don’t ever forget that God is with David, no matter how things appear. I had a teacher in college that told me that the secret of good parenting was for parents to always remain 5% smarter than their children! David demonstrates that he is not only a wise king but a pretty smart dad too! Absalom here in this chapter reminds me of the bumper sticker that says, “vote for a teenager while they know it all”.

David goes into exile and waits to see what the Lord will do. He didn’t stick his head in the sand or throw his hands up in the air and quit. No, he kept tabs on his son and I am sure he prayed for him each day. Dads and Moms, if you have a wayward son or daughter don’t give up on them, give them over to the Lord, and don’t lose hope. Keep tabs on them, trust the love of your Heavenly Father who loves them more than we as parents ever could and most of all…pray for them. It doesn’t matter what state your kids are in, whether they are acting insane or living in South Dakota, God is there and is more than able to get to their heart and turn them towards home. Be ready Dad, be available Mom! Today of all days, lift your kids to God in prayer. It will change you as much as it will change them…if not more.

“Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.”

Hebrews 7:25


Michael Osthimer





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