19th April 2013

God’s Own Heart

“The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: ‘O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you ­- O Absalom, my son, my son!”
2 Samuel 18:33 (NIV UK)

This is one of the most moving passages in the Old Testament. 

David loved his son Absalom, yet Absalom conspired against his father. The Bible explains that his “conspiracy gained strength, and Absalom’s following kept on increasing” (15:12). Eventually there was what amounted to an attempted coup with an all-out effort to capture David and have him executed, but Absalom was killed by one of David’s generals. Absalom’s beautiful long hair got caught up in the thick branches of a large oak tree as he rode underneath them. “He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going”, and Joab “took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom’s heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. And ten of Joab’s armour- bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him” (18:9-15). 

David’s enemy, his beloved son, was dead. What was the king’s reaction? David had led a life of bloodshed and now his favorite son had been slain by someone loyal to David.  David’s own life had been less then exemplary. He was a typical warrior king of his times. He had taken other people’s wives, betrayed those who fought for him, and arranged for people to be murdered. 

Despite this track record David is called a man after God’s own heart (13:14).  How could this be true? Some have suggested that it is because David sought God out in contrite repentance, or because he wrote such meaningful psalms. My view is that the clearest illustration of God’s own heart in David’s life is when he said of Absalom, “If only I had died instead of you.” 

It is God’s heartfelt desire that we live eternally with him. He was willing to die in our stead so that we could share in his life. Thus Christ Jesus “who, being in very nature God humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8) 

I guess we all have to ask ourselves from time to time: how much am I willing to give? Jesus gave everything for us: do we give our all to him and for him as he lives his sacrificial life for others through us? 

Let’s be Christians after God’s own heart. 

Father, thank you for the mind of Jesus. Let his mind be in us as we express his love to all whom we meet. In Jesus’ name.


 bible3About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland.  You are welcome to attend any of our Church congregations located throughout the UK.  For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email:  admin@daybyday.org.uk

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