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LOVING THE UNLOVELY TEST

May 16, 2015

Loving= affectionate, kind, warm, dear, friendly, devoted, tender, fond, ardent, cordial, doting, amorous, solicitous, gentle, sympathetic, considerate, and warm-hearted.

Unlovely = Not deemed visually attractive, disagreeable, not likable, unpleasant.

Today’s blog is about loving the unlovely.  I believe each one of us will get an opportunity in our lifetime to experience this test.  Jesus tells his disciples in John 13:34-35, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”  He knew they understood the first and greatest commandment which was, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind,” therefore, He emphasizes the second one which was equally as important. Believers must love the unlovely, we must do good to those that hate us and say all manner of evil against us whether it is family, friend or foe. Understandably, when a stranger mistreats you it is often easier to handle than when it is a family member putting a knife in your back. However, though extremely hard to do, it is still a Divine command and it must be done.

This blog shares the parent-child relationship between David and his son Absalom. Also, it reveals despite all the evil that was done, David’s love for Absalom remained constant, and he continued to want the best for him.

Absalom was the third son born to David and his mother was Maacah the daughter of King Talmai of Geshur.  Little is said about Absalom’s childhood but he grows into a handsome young man with a charming, charismatic personality; however, he was ambitious, vindictive, bitter, unforgiving and treacherous.

Davis had eight wives which resulted in children born from different mothers.  The first son born to David was Amnon and his mother was Ahinoam.  Amnon fell into a lustful love for his half-sister Tamar who was Absalom’s sister and he rapes her. David did not reprimand Amnon for his actions and this made Absalom furious.  He plotted and waited two years, and then he had Amnon killed at a sheep-shearing event which he sponsored. Fearing reprisal from his father Absalom flees to Geshur where he remains in exile for three years until his father who longs for him sends for him to come home. Unfortunately, upon his return home David refused to meet with him for two more years. Absalom became frustrated with his father’s actions and used Joab, David’s commander-in-chief to advocate for his return to court.

After gaining access to his father, in revenge Absalom plots to overthrow his father’s government.  He began to promote himself in the eyes of the people. Also he subtly began to arouse feelings of hostility and disgruntlement among the people toward David’s rule. After doing this for four years Absalom gathers his conspirators in Hebron and has himself declared king. When David hears of this he flees Jerusalem with his household and followers leaving ten of his concubines to look after the palace. When Absalom and his conspirators arrive in Jerusalem he takes possession of his father’s harem and initiates his kingly rule.

David in his darkest hour is on the run from a son that he loved but allowed to go unchecked.  He crossed over Kidron, ascended Olivet with a weeping band of people, and finally ended in Mahanaim. During this time he learns who his friends were and who his enemies were.

Meanwhile, Absalom was stationed in Jerusalem plotting His father’s demise. A military plan was conceived but it ended in disaster for Absalom in the woods of Ephraim where he was hanging from the boughs of a terebinth tree when his long hair was caught in it. It is there that he was found and killed by Joab despite David’s request to his army not to injure Absalom.

2 Samuel 18:33 records David’s reaction to the news of Absalom’s death, “And 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!” David became so lost in overwhelming grief that his followers began to feel dishonored and shamed. Finally, it took Joab’s verbal rebuke of his actions to stir him back to reality and cause him to go and applaud his followers for their loyalty and efforts.

What a contrast in behavior, despite all that Absalom did, David loved him and did not want to see him injured or killed. Absalom however did not care what happen to his father. David loved him and tolerated his misbehavior and Absalom sowed discord and division when he disapproved of David’s actions. Absalom acted lovingly to the person’s he was attempting to influence and displayed hostility and unloving acts to those that opposed him. In his life David was unwilling to touch the Lord’s anointed but Absalom was willing to kill the Lord’s anointed.

Though David was not a perfect parent his intentions were honorable and noteworthy. Thusly, his mistakes are shared that we might make corrections in our lives where we have blundered, and to pass the test as God has prescribed.

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From → Test Series

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