Sunday, July 18, 2010

2 Samuel 16-18: O my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you . . ."

From Garden to City reading:  2 Samuel 16-18

No matter what Absalom does, David never stops loving his son.
Absalom murders another brother.
Absalom overthrows his father's kingdom.
Absalom sleeps with his father's mistresses.
Absalom tries to kill his father.

And David still loves his son.
When Absalom dies, David says, "If only I had died instead of you--O Absalom, my son, my son!"

That's crazy love.
And I've been sitting here on my bed thinking about this, thinking about how much God loves us and thinking about how we are so much like Absalom.

We rebel against God all the time.
Our stories probably aren't as dramatic as the story of Absalom's rebellion.
But rebellion is rebellion.

And I'm thinking about how God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to die instead of us.
And in spite of this love, we still rebel against him.
Or we think we can earn God's love.
Or maybe disqualify ourselves from God's love.
But God keeps loving us.

I'm thinking about Brennan Manning, who asks,
Do you really accept the message that God is head over heels in love with you? I believe that this question is at the core of our ability to mature and grow spiritually. If in our hearts we really don't believe that God loves us as we are, if we are still tainted by the lie that we can do something to make God love us more, we are rejecting the message of the cross.
David received mercy and forgiveness when he least deserved it.
He would have extended that mercy to his son.

We received mercy when we least deserved it.
Do we even see how undeserving we are?
Do we receive that mercy with open arms, as undeserving, rebellious children?
And are we so incredibly grateful for the gift of God's love that we are willing to give it to the people around us?

Even the people who despise us, who try to kill us, who overthrow our kingdoms?

Okay, so no one is trying to kill us or overthrow our kingdoms, but are we willing to give mercy to the people around us?

Do we mourn for the Absalom's in our life?
Do we keep loving no matter what?

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