Black-and-white and shades of grey - Hope 103.2

Black-and-white and shades of grey

By David ReayTuesday 15 Sep 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 2 Samuel 15:1-6, 18:33

1-2 As time went on, Absalom took to riding in a horse-drawn chariot, with fifty men running in front of him. Early each morning he would take up his post beside the road at the city gate. When anyone showed up with a case to bring to the king for a decision, Absalom would call him over and say, “Where do you hail from?”

And the answer would come, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel.”

3-6 Then Absalom would say, “Look, you’ve got a strong case; but the king isn’t going to listen to you.” Then he’d say, “Why doesn’t someone make me a judge for this country? Anybody with a case could bring it to me and I’d settle things fair and square.” Whenever someone would treat him with special honor, he’d shrug it off and treat him like an equal, making him feel important. Absalom did this to everyone who came to do business with the king and stole the hearts of everyone in Israel.


33 The king was stunned. Heartbroken, he went up to the room over the gate and wept. As he wept he cried out,

               O my son Absalom, my dear, dear son Absalom!
               Why not me rather than you, my death and not yours,
               O Absalom, my dear, dear son! (THE MESSAGE)

King David did not have a happy family. Absalom was just one of his ‘problem children’. He sought to get people to make him ruler rather than his father. He caused no end of trouble for David. And yet, on hearing of Absalom’s death, David weeps and mourns. Such are the deep ties of family. We go on loving them even when we get little return for our ‘investment’.

There is another aspect of this worth exploring. Christians may form an opinion about the rights and wrongs of abortion. But then a daughter has an unwanted pregnancy and considers an abortion. Some will conclude that active same-sex relationships are wrong. But then a son shares the news that he is in such a relationship. Others are firmly against the idea of divorce or remarriage afterwards. Then a child is divorced and meets someone they long to marry. We speak out against euthanasia then look on as a loved one is in a dark and painful place longing for release.

The list can go on. The point being that we can reason through an issue and logic might tell us to act one way. And then faced with our tangled emotions, our formerly well thought out positions may come under question. This is not to say we throw principles overboard, but we at least look at them afresh and decide how to apply them in what is a new and confronting situation.

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Logic might have caused David to welcome Absalom’s death. His familial love caused him to weep.

David Reay