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The Bible tells the story of Absalom. He was the son of King David — Israel’s greatest king. Through a series of circumstances, Absalom began to despise his father and made plans to become king in his father’s place. He surreptitiously sowed seeds of division and rebellion in his father’s kingdom. In the beginning he did things that did not seem to be a danger, but he was winning the hearts of the people of Israel. The day came when he saw an opportunity and openly led a rebellion against his father David in an attempt to take over his kingdom. David’s greatest fear was that Absalom would be destroyed in the battle, which is what eventually happened. When word came that Absalom had been killed, far from being happy about it, the Bible says, “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 Samuel 18:33).

David’s heart was not to destroy his son, but to save his son, even if it meant dying in his place — in spite of what Absalom thought. Absalom wanted to be king,...

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