David Receives Grievous News

Text: 2 Samuel 18:19-33

Reflection and Question: Absalom, David’s son, has set himself up as king and David has sent his army to defeat the rebel. Despite David’s wish that his son’s life be spared, Absalom is killed in the battle. Because David had the messenger who reported Saul and Jonathan’s death killed, suspense builds as two messengers run to tell David of the defeat and death of his son. But David reacts differently this time. He withdraws and weeps, “O my son Absalom, would that I had died instead of you!” Should David be joyful at remaining king or sad at the death of his son or both? Why?

Prayer: Holy Spirit, Love Divine, it is often the case in this world that events mix both good and bad, desirable and undesirable, joyous and grievous. As David brings his grief to You, may we bring our deepest feelings and thoughts to You at all times. Amen.

This meditation is based on the Daily Lectionary Year 1 from the Book of Common Worship for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1993).