A few months ago I was reading the story of David and Absalom, and found myself quite struck by David’s response to his son’s death.
First of all, what a dysfunctional family! Incest, rape, murder, rebellion. It’s difficult to imagine worse things. Absalom is trying really hard to hurt his father, in overtly spiteful ways. And of course David is no “saint” either. I find it easy to imagine that Absalom was watching closely when David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then tried to cover his tracks by murdering her husband.
So in many ways Absalom’s rebellion could simply be the reaping of the seed David had sown. But I was struck by how, even in the midst of the ugly cruelty Absalom was unleashing on his father, David never allows his heart to grow cold toward his son.