Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 18

David’s emotions after he hears about Absalom’s death

2 Samuel 18:33

At the death of someone whom we love, and especially a young person, we should give God honour. He alone is good and perfect and right in all that he does. We may not understand why that person has died – but we must still praise God.

David knew why Absalom had died – and it brought no comfort to him. Absalom had organised a revolution against David, the king whom God had chosen. He organised a vast army to try to kill David. It was a very evil thing to do, and especially because David was Absalom’s father. Absalom should have respected David as God’s law insists (Exodus 20:12).

Absalom had filled his last days on earth with a series of wicked activities (for example, 2 Samuel 16:20-22). He died because of his evil deeds. It was an act of God’s kindness that Absalom did not continue to live in such a wicked manner.

However, David refused to give honour to God. He went into a private room to weep. He did not turn his attention to God, as Job had done after the deaths of his children (Job 1:21). Instead, David’s attention was entirely upon his own emotions and thoughts about Absalom. David even wished that he, David, was dead instead of Absalom. Nobody and nothing could bring David any comfort in that state.

Really, David was thinking and behaving selfishly, as Joab would later explain to him (19:4-7). Of course he was sad, that was only natural. However, he was wrong to concentrate so much on his own emotions.

Next part: David weeps because of Absalom's death (2 Samuel 19:1-4)


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