The King Wept
2 Samuel 18:33 (ESV) – And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
It isn’t common for kings to show weakness. Most people that surround a king never see him weep. While crying is not a sign of weakness, it can be perceived as weakness from others. It demonstrates vulnerability. That vulnerability could lead usurpers and insubordinates to conclude the king is weak.
Our passage today shows us King David weeping. He reigns over Israel. His power and prowess have been seen for decades. His victories over Goliath and the armies of the Philistines caused songs to be written in his honor. But in our passage today we see weeping. The occasion? His rebellious son, who sought to take the kingdom from his father, was killed in battle by David’s soldiers. We read, “And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, ‘O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!’”
This text shows us several things. First, notice that it doesn’t matter if his son is rebelling against his kingdom. David loves him. He still desires that his son live. This indicates that David isn’t concerned primarily with power. Many kings throughout history have murdered their own family out of fear of keeping power. David is not like that. He loves Absalom. Second, notice that David wishes he could take Absalom’s place. He’d rather die than lose his son. David knows the pain of losing a son. His child with Bathsheba, conceived through sin, died. He wept and mourned that child. This blow is devastating to David.
David’s tears remind us of another king that wept. Jesus stood outside the tomb of Lazarus (John 11) and wept with the crowds. His compassion for the people, and his friend Lazarus, moved him to tears. This wasn’t weakness. It was humanity. Jesus raised Lazarus from the tomb that day. But like David, His love for His people fueled Him to give up His own life in their place. David was unable to die in Absalom’s place. But Jesus is the king that died in the place of His people. David’s desire to replace Absalom points us to Jesus. He is the King that substituted Himself in place of guilty rebels. What a King?! What a Savior?!
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is David so distraught even though Absalom wants his kingdom?
- What parallels are there between this story and the story of Jesus?
- How does this devotion help you love Jesus more?
Did you miss yesterday's devotional? If so, find it HERE
We make these devotions freely available to thousands of readers daily. If you’d like to help support the ministry, please click here to learn more.
Sign up to receive our daily devotions in your inbox here!