My Son, My Son – David’s Grief
By Sharon Betters
And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
2 Samuel 18:33 ESV
David responded to Absalom’s attack by sending his mighty fighting men to defend the throne. He speaks clearly about how his traitor son Absalom is to be treated:
And the king ordered Joab and Abishai and Ittai, “Deal gently for my sake with the young man Absalom.” And all the people heard when the king gave orders to all the commanders about Absalom.
2 Samuel 18:5 ESV
Allow the grief of David the father to capture your heart. This is the man who wrote Psalm 62, the "Only Psalm", in response to this great betrayal and heartbreak:
And behold, the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “Good news for my lord the king! For the Lord has delivered you this day from the hand of all who rose up against you.” The king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up against you for evil be like that young man.”And the king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And as he went, he said, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!”
2 Samuel 18:31 – 33 ESV
How do you walk a steady path when there seems to be no good path going forward? Psalm 62 is written in response to those kinds of terrifying places. In other Psalms the writer often complains against God, demanding answers for the broken places in their lives. This Psalm is different. David doesn’t complain or whine. He doesn’t even ask God for anything. He simply states:
For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
Picture a broken down grieving man, head bowed into his hands, ashes covering his body, great sobs coming from deep within. Now imagine that same man, slowly lifting his head, raising his arms to heaven, tears are streaming down his cheeks, and declaring the message of Psalm 62. This is David. Now read Psalm 62 again recognizing the scars of the writer that took him to a supernatural place of surrender.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
3 How long will all of you attack a man to batter him,
like a leaning wall, a tottering fence?
4 They only plan to thrust him down from his high position.
They take pleasure in falsehood.
They bless with their mouths, but inwardly they curse. Selah
5 For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence,
for my hope is from Him.
6 He only is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be shaken.
7 On God rests my salvation and my glory;
my mighty rock, my refuge is God.
8 Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.
9 Those of low estate are but a breath;
those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up;
they are together lighter than a breath.
10 Put no trust in extortion;
set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.
11 Once God has spoken;
twice have I heard this:
that power belongs to God,
12 and that to You, O Lord, belongs steadfast love.
For You will render to a man
according to his work.
Psalm 62 ESV
Intentionally choose Psalm 62 as your prayer today.
Sharon W. Betters is author of Treasures of Encouragement, Treasures in Darkness and co-author of Treasures of Faith. She is Director of Resource Development and co-founder of MARKINC.org, a non profit organization that offers help and hope to hurting people. Sharon enjoys quality time with her husband, children and fourteen grandchildren.
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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.