Tuesday in 4th Week

II Sam 18.9-10,14,24-25,30—19.3; Ps 85; Mk 5.21-43

Absalom was a troublemaker, a thorn in the flesh for everyone around him, and, quite literally, a traitor.  Perhaps his father saw a bit of himself in him: his easy-going good looks, his ability to attract people to follow him unquestioningly, his derring-do.  David never stopped being a usurper, his kingdom always resembling the social dynamics of a terrorist band headed by a charming bandit.  Always the stability of his regime was in doubt.  So it is not surprising that malcontents might have seen in David’s charismatic son a possible replacement for him.

For David though, Absalom, whatever else he was, was his son.  At the announcement of his death—cut short in the midst of leading an uprising against his father—David showed something of his deepest, truest self: showed who he was at heart.  ‘O Absalom, my son! Absalom, my son!’ the king keened.  ‘Would that I had died in your place!’  Yet even a king could not do that—do someone else’s dying for them.  If he could have paid the price for his son’s betrayal of him, he would have paid it.  If he could have given his own life to bring his son back to life again, he would have given it.  But things like that can’t be done even by rich and powerful kings.  Things like that can only be done by a God.

Posted in Daily Reflection.