Summary: David asked, concerning the fate of his rebel son Absalom, "Is the child safe?" It is a question parents of today and the church of today needs to ask.
32And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. 33And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
I want you to notice particularly the question in verse 32, for therein lies my subject: "Is the young man safe?" And I want to ask you to consider the question today: "Is The Child Safe?"
My brothers and sisters, the text deals with the concern of a father for his son. King David was man of great political power and influence. As King of Israel, David advanced his kingdom to its greatest glory. But despite all of the greatness that David achieved, this is one of David’s weakest moments in his life. His son Absalom has turned on him and tried to overthrow David from the thrown.
I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that it’s a hurting thing when your child, after all you have tried to do for them, pays you back by literally biting the hand that has fed them. The Bible says that David had to employ thousands of men to protect him from his own son.
-- Imagine it. Having to run and hide from the child you have given life to!
-- Imagine it. Having to hire body guards to protect you from the child you have sacrificed and toiled for to put a roof over their heads!
-- Imagine it. Having to suffer the shame and embarrassment of fold who heard about Absalom¡¯s actions and as your walk down a public street hearing them whisper, "There goes David. It’s a shame how his son does him!"
I become incensed whenever I see or hear of a child treating it’s parent or parents in a disrespectful way. Some daytime television talk shows have given us a glimpse at what’s going on in some families today. Maybe you’ve watched some of them. I won’t give them a free commercial by mentioning their names, for their names are really not that important. They all pretty much do shows on the same topics: "Kids Out of Control!"... "Children Off The Hook!" ... "I’m Afraid of My Child!" ... The list could go on and on.
When I was a child, I didn’t always agree with everything my parents said to me. I didn’t always like the way I was disciplined. I even rebelled to a certain extent, but my parents were still my parents and I was their child. And as their child I dare not rise up against my mother and father! If I had, who knows what physical condition I’d be in today!
This story outlined in 2nd Samuel is one of those sagas which makes a parent’s blood boil, but at the same time - you have to sympathize with David. Even though David had not lived a model life (and I’ll get to that in a minute) David was still a parent and I can imagine the pain and mental suffering that David must have been dealing with.
On the battlefield David was given the victory when the odds were all stacked against him, but in his personal life he’s the subject of gossip because of what’s going on between him and his son. But you know... (and I say this for the benefit of all of the young people listening today) Your parents may not be the best parents (in your eyes) but make no mistake about it, the Bible speaks a great truth: ’Honor thy parents that they days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’
Absalom disrespected his father and God punished him for it! One day, when Absalom was riding on his ass and heading out of the jungle, trying to lead an attack against his father, Absalom’s hair got caught on the limb of a tree, and the ass kept right on going, while Absalom hung there by his hair! And as, David’s army was defending themselves, they came upon Absalom strung up by the hair in a tree. They killed that boy and threw his body in a ditch and covered it with stones. And when the battle report came back to David that they had seen Absalom hanging by the hair from a tree one might think that David would have said, "Good for him! ... that’s what he gets!" But David asks the question: "Is the young man safe?"
But the reply comes back, "King... I wish that all your enemies and everyone who tries to hurt you would end up like him!" In other words, a messenger was letting David know (in so many words) that his son, Absalom, was dead! The record says that when David heard that he trembled and ran off to his room to cry. As he went, they could hear him saying, "My son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! I wish I could have died instead of you! Absalom, my son, my son!"