The nation was split and the King was on the run but that wasn’t the hard part. The agony was that it was his own son staging the coup. He was the son with the biggest and brightest future.
But David’s enemies, led by his son, were out to kill him. So David had to muster an army against them and all that rebelled against him.
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom
Lord, how many are my foes!
How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me,
“God will not deliver him.”
But you, Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the Lord,
and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep;
I wake again, because the Lord sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands
assail me on every side.
Deliver me, my God!
Strike all my enemies on the jaw;
break the teeth of the wicked.
From the Lord comes deliverance.
May your blessing be on your people.
But before his troops marched out to war, David told them plainly, “Treat the young man Absalom gently for my sake” (2 Sam 18:5). In other words, ‘Protect the young man Absalom‘ (2 Sam 18:12).
But Joab, David’s general, killed David’s son Absalom. And in one of the saddest Scriptures in the Bible, we read of David’s great grief:
“The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Sam 18:33).
Can you imagine a father’s grief? His own son rebelled against him which caused them to go to war. And then his son died in that very war. A father’s heart is shattered. What happened? His lovely and beautiful son?