Summary: “Every Problem has a Root Cause”
Title: “How to Rise a Rebellious Child”
Text: 2 Samuel 13-18
You know, one of the most appealing qualities about the Bible is its realism. You know what I mean? For example in the Bible we have the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people, and we have God defending them, protecting them, sustaining them, but at the same time God doesn’t hide from us all their misgivings and mistakes the nations people have made. We see the characters of the bible in the good and bad times of life. We see their steps of faith and we’re encouraged. We see the sinfulness, the failures, and even their times of rebellion and we’re warned. This morning I’m driving into the topic of raising a rebellious child. I’ve analyzed Absalom’s life and I’ve come to some conclusions and I thank God I’ve never had to deal with a rebellious child. As we analyze David’s son Absalom, the third to the oldest in the family, picture this in your mind.
Absalom lay peacefully in his mother’s arms as King David observed from a distance. Isn’t that a beautiful mental picture? What wrong with this mental picture? Let me clue you in! Absalom means “peaceful,” yet, this child when he burst upon Israel’s history was anything but peaceful. Matter of a fact his attributes to all of humanity were murder, seduction, hatred, rebellion, and war. Even within death Absalom did not find peace. Now, you tell me how do you raise such a rebellious child? After spending 8 hours this past Wednesday at a Counselor Training Seminar in Broken Bow, I was once again reminded that the only way to solve a family problem is to reduce it down to its root causes. You’ll find those root causes in you outline as a bulletin insert. Every problem has a root cause.
So, what caused Absalom to become so rebellious? Number one, if you’re following with your bulletin insert, revenge filled his heart.
Problem: Absalom was a Rebellious Child
Revenge filled Absalom’s Life.
The bible tells us that Absalom had a deep-seated hatred. It seems this hatred started immediately following the raping of his sister Tamar by the oldest in the family, Amnon.
I talked about this moral failure in David’s family life last week. As I started last week, David’s continued problem as a family leader was his passiveness. He wasn’t there for his children, as an encourager or as a disciplinarian. He did absolutely nothing to discipline, rebuke, or chastise his first-born for raping Tamar, his daughter. So, since Tamar was Absalom’s full sister, last week said Absalom provided shelter in his home for his sister as a desolate woman and then he set out to kill this half brother that did it. He set out to plot the murder of Amnon. So, now we’re getting a clear picture - one daughter raped, one-son dead, another with blood on his hands, the royal palace is within complete turmoil. Oh, me oh, my – what is this family going to do? Well, every home needs a strong leader and usually that strong leader in the Jewish home was the father.
It was time for David to step up to the plate with that Goliath type courage and Saul pardoning mercy, but the children saw nothing of their father. The Bible says David wept for his children, but he wept in solitude. Is this a good idea? No, even in today’s life we’ve grown up to much with the idea that it a sign of immaturity for a man to cry in the presence of others.
Dad’s let your children see the tears you weep for them and then be there for your children when they need your presence. You know it’s real painful to look back on your life and wonder why it is your children have a great relationship with their mother, but it’s not the same with dad. I would think that fighting a war would be a good reason for many Father’s to be gone at this time in life. However, you find that so many children seem to grow up in life having to raise themselves. It seems David’s children where in that predicament. However, Absalom’s not a child anymore, and you can’t blame your father for your own sins no matter what the counselor might tell you. Israel was guilty of blaming all their sins on the past generations, but God said this will not be accepted. (Ezekiel 18:1-3) No, Absalom is a grown man responsible for his own behavior, but he still needs his father’s love and appreciation. What’s he going to do now that he’s murdered a family member? He flees Jerusalem and finds protection in his grandfather’s home, which is the King of Geshur, on his mother’s side of the family. And isn’t that wonderful? Granddad’s & grandma’s seem to always be there when there needed. I’ve yet to learn what this means, but I think it’s true. We are to always be there as a refuge place for the grandkids. We are blessed in this gathering with many grandparents who are great in lending a helping hand raising the grandkids.