Life Must Go On
Lord, thank You for faithful friends who will speak what I need to hear, even if it is hard. Give me ears ready to hear.
Read 2 Samuel 19:1-8
 Joab was told, “The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.”  And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, “The king is grieving for his son.”  The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle.  The king covered his face and cried aloud, “O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!”  Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, “Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines.  You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead.  Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the LORD that if you don’t go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come on you from your youth till now.”  So the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. When the men were told, “The king is sitting in the gateway,” they all came before him. Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectDo you have friends who will speak the truth?
One of David’s most attractive qualities is his capacity for wholehearted emotional engagement. This makes him a loyal friend, an inspirational leader, a passionate lover and a devoted worshiper. But at times this characteristic can also leave him overwhelmed by intense feelings.It is commendable that David can feel such grief for Absalom, especially after the way his rebellious son has behaved. Yet, David is not just the father of Absalom; he is father to other sons and daughters; he is a husband; he is commander-in-chief; he is the king. These roles also require his attention. The nation needs him to act responsibly. Joab, in some ways David’s polar opposite, political to the end, courageously tells David what he needs to hear (5-7). To his credit, David rouses himself to do the right thing, although his heart still carries the pain of grief (8a). It is extremely difficult to continue to act appropriately in the public realm while carrying intense personal emotions. Nobody knows this more than Jesus, who nevertheless remained focused on his God-given mission (see John 12:23-28).
Consider those you have seen exercise public responsibility well in the face of personal challenge. Follow their example.
Thank You, Jesus, that You know the grief of our hearts and that You gave us the perfect example of faithfulness.