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070826 David Relief For A Dads Grief 2 Samuel 18 Dale Wells


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A sermon on 2 Samuel 18 delivered at Palm Desert Church of Christ by Dale Wells on August 26, 2007.

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070826 David Relief For A Dads Grief 2 Samuel 18 Dale Wells

  1. 1. David: Shaping a Godly Heart Relief for a Dad’s Grief 2 Samuel 18
  2. 2. There is no easy way to raise a child <ul><li>Every bundle of joy has the potential to be a heart breaker </li></ul>
  3. 3. David received more pain from his children than his enemies <ul><li>He was last seen running from his second son </li></ul>
  4. 4. 2 Samuel 18:1-17 NIV <ul><li>David mustered the men who were with him and appointed over them commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds. (2) David sent the troops out--a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab's brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, &quot;I myself will surely march out with you.&quot; </li></ul>
  5. 5. 2 Samuel 18:1-17 NIV <ul><li>(3) But the men said, &quot;You must not go out; if we are forced to flee, they won't care about us. Even if half of us die, they won't care; but you are worth ten thousand of us. It would be better now for you to give us support from the city.&quot; (4) The king answered, &quot;I will do whatever seems best to you.&quot; So the king stood beside the gate while all the men marched out in units of hundreds and of thousands. </li></ul>
  6. 6. 2 Samuel 18:1-17 NIV <ul><li>(5) The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, &quot;Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.&quot; And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders. (6) The army marched into the field to fight Israel, and the battle took place in the forest of Ephraim. (7) There the army of Israel was defeated by David's men, and the casualties that day were great--twenty thousand men. </li></ul>
  7. 7. 2 Samuel 18:1-17 NIV <ul><li>(8) The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest claimed more lives that day than the sword. (9) Now Absalom happened to meet David's men. He was riding his mule, and as the mule went under the thick branches of a large oak, Absalom's head got caught in the tree. He was left hanging in midair, while the mule he was riding kept on going. </li></ul>
  8. 8. 2 Samuel 18:1-17 NIV <ul><li>(10) When one of the men saw this, he told Joab, &quot;I just saw Absalom hanging in an oak tree.&quot; (11) Joab said to the man who had told him this, &quot;What! You saw him? Why didn't you strike him to the ground right there? Then I would have had to give you ten shekels of silver and a warrior's belt.&quot; (12) But the man replied, &quot;Even if a thousand shekels were weighed out into my hands, I would not lift my hand against the king's son. </li></ul>
  9. 9. 2 Samuel 18:1-17 NIV <ul><li>In our hearing the king commanded you and Abishai and Ittai, 'Protect the young man Absalom for my sake.' (13) And if I had put my life in jeopardy --and nothing is hidden from the king--you would have kept your distance from me.&quot; (14) Joab said, &quot;I'm not going to wait like this for you.“ So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom's heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. </li></ul>
  10. 10. 2 Samuel 18:1-17 NIV <ul><li>(15) And ten of Joab's armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him. (16) Then Joab sounded the trumpet, and the troops stopped pursuing Israel, for Joab halted them. (17) They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him. Meanwhile, all the Israelites fled to their homes. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Imagine what Absalom could have been <ul><li>Attractive </li></ul><ul><li>Charismatic </li></ul><ul><li>Respected </li></ul><ul><li>If only he had the right motivation </li></ul><ul><li>Meet seven generations of the Gano family: </li></ul>
  12. 12. John Gano <ul><li>Baptist minister </li></ul><ul><li>George Washington’s personal chaplain </li></ul><ul><li>Baptized Washington in the Potomac River </li></ul><ul><li>His son, Richard </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minister/soldier in War of 1812 </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Richard’s son, John Allen <ul><li>Student of Barton W. Stone </li></ul><ul><li>Preached alongside Alexander Campbell and Barton W. Stone </li></ul><ul><li>Significant leader in the Restoration Movement </li></ul>
  14. 14. John’s son, Richard <ul><li>Physician/preacher </li></ul><ul><li>Moved to Dallas in 1859 and elected to State Legislature </li></ul><ul><li>Joined Confederate Army and was promoted through the ranks to Brigadier General </li></ul>
  15. 15. Richard preached after the war <ul><li>Active in beginning Pearl and Bryan Church of Christ in Dallas (later Garland Road, now Highland Oaks) </li></ul><ul><li>Credited with baptizing 6,800 during his lifetime </li></ul>
  16. 16. Richard’s three sons were lawyer/ministers: <ul><li>Maurice spoke at an early lectureship at Childer’s Classical Institute </li></ul><ul><li>Robert Lee was a well-known preacher </li></ul><ul><li>William taught Bible classes at Pearl and Bryan all his adult life </li></ul><ul><li>William had a daughter: Allene Stone Gano </li></ul>
  17. 17. Allene married a wildcatter <ul><li>Her husband developed process for hardening bits to drill deep through rock </li></ul><ul><li>They moved to Houston, where Allene dropped out of church </li></ul>
  18. 18. Allene had one son <ul><li>Grandson of William, the lawyer/preacher </li></ul><ul><li>Great-grandson Richard, the doctor/preacher </li></ul><ul><li>Great-great grandson of John Allen who preached with Campbell and Stone </li></ul><ul><li>Great-great-great grandson of Richard, the minister/soldier </li></ul>
  19. 19. Allene had one son <ul><li>Great-great-great-great grandson of John Gano, the preacher who baptized George Washington </li></ul>
  20. 20. He was Howard Hughes, Jr. <ul><li>Parents, don’t think that just because you have a strong faith, your children will </li></ul><ul><li>Each generation makes its own decisions </li></ul><ul><li>Notice two things: </li></ul>
  21. 21. Absalom’s pride and joy led to his downfall <ul><li>2 Samuel 14:26 NIV Whenever he cut the hair of his head--he used to cut his hair from time to time when it became too heavy for him--he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels by the royal standard. </li></ul>
  22. 22. After all Absalom had put him through … <ul><li>David said, “spare him for my sake” </li></ul><ul><li>Only a parent can fully appreciate that </li></ul>
  23. 23. 2 Samuel 18:19-23 NIV <ul><li>Now Ahimaaz son of Zadok said, &quot;Let me run and take the news to the king that the LORD has delivered him from the hand of his enemies.&quot; (20) &quot;You are not the one to take the news today,&quot; Joab told him. &quot;You may take the news another time, but you must not do so today, because the king's son is dead.&quot; (21) Then Joab said to a Cushite, &quot;Go, tell the king what you have seen.&quot; The Cushite bowed down before Joab and ran off. </li></ul>
  24. 24. 2 Samuel 18:19-23 NIV <ul><li>(22) Ahimaaz son of Zadok again said to Joab, &quot;Come what may, please let me run behind the Cushite.&quot; But Joab replied, &quot;My son, why do you want to go? You don't have any news that will bring you a reward.&quot; (23) He said, &quot;Come what may, I want to run.&quot; So Joab said, &quot;Run!&quot; Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and outran the Cushite. </li></ul>
  25. 25. David’s reasoning: <ul><li>One man means good news; many means retreat </li></ul><ul><li>David’s first question: “Is the young man Absalom safe?” No good response </li></ul><ul><li>David didn’t feel like a general that day, but like a dad </li></ul>
  26. 26. David knew his responsibility <ul><li>The way David lived affected Absalom </li></ul><ul><li>The way Absalom died affected David </li></ul><ul><li>That’s the way it is when you’re a parent </li></ul><ul><li>Two ways to relate the story: </li></ul>
  27. 27. Danger of personal ambition <ul><li>Absalom’s vanity - hair </li></ul><ul><li>2 Samuel 18:18 NIV During his lifetime Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King's Valley as a monument to himself, for he thought, &quot;I have no son to carry on the memory of my name.&quot; He named the pillar after himself, and it is called Absalom's Monument to this day. </li></ul><ul><li>In death, his monument was a heap of rocks </li></ul>
  28. 28. In Schuylerville, NY a 155 foot obelisk honors four heroes <ul><li>Battle of Saratoga, turning point of the Revolutionary War </li></ul><ul><li>Four niches with space for a statue honoring one of the heroes: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Horatio Gates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Philip Schuyler </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Daniel Morgan </li></ul></ul>
  29. 29. One has a name, but no statue <ul><li>Benedict Arnold was a hero that day </li></ul><ul><li>He was later vilified as a traitor </li></ul><ul><li>He has no statue, but his name is carved on the obelisk </li></ul>
  30. 30. Benedict Arnold’s monument is a short distance away <ul><li>It shows only his boot – a reminder that he was shot in the foot </li></ul><ul><li>Having your name on a monument doesn’t mean you’re a great man </li></ul>
  31. 31. What do you want people to remember you for? <ul><li>Nothing you build with your hands will make people remember you </li></ul><ul><li>If people can say you were godly, it doesn’t matter what else they may say </li></ul>
  32. 32. Parental anguish <ul><li>No pain hurts godly parents more than the news that your child has turned out wrong </li></ul><ul><li>Parents say “I’d rather it happened to me.” </li></ul>
  33. 33. You always feel guilty for it <ul><li>You always think back to things you could have done differently </li></ul><ul><li>You hear the simplistic suggestions and uninformed judgments of friends </li></ul><ul><li>They’re just lucky it was your kids & not theirs </li></ul>
  34. 34. The church’s unrealistic picture of a happy family <ul><li>Proverbs 22:6 NIV Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. </li></ul><ul><li>An observation that is right most of the time, but not always </li></ul><ul><li>The last thing suffering parents need to hear </li></ul><ul><li>James Dobson’s kids probably talked back </li></ul>
  35. 35. Church needs to extend sympathy <ul><li>As child’s independence increases, parent’s responsibility decreases </li></ul><ul><li>In some churches a man can’t be an elder if grown kids leave the church </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestions for parents in pain: </li></ul>
  36. 36. Fellowship must be extended and accepted <ul><li>They are more aware than you of their failings </li></ul><ul><li>They need your love – not your judgment </li></ul>
  37. 37. Our list of sins is not God’s list <ul><li>One family’s child is pregnant; another’s rebels </li></ul><ul><li>Rebel’s family criticizes the pregnant girl’s family </li></ul><ul><li>In the OT, the pregnant girl gets married and the rebellious girl is executed </li></ul><ul><li>We may have lost the kids but we need to salvage the parents </li></ul>
  38. 38. 2 Samuel 19:1-8 NIV <ul><li>Joab was told, &quot;The king is weeping and mourning for Absalom.&quot; (2) And for the whole army the victory that day was turned into mourning, because on that day the troops heard it said, &quot;The king is grieving for his son.&quot; (3) The men stole into the city that day as men steal in who are ashamed when they flee from battle. (4) The king covered his face and cried aloud, &quot;O my son Absalom! O Absalom, my son, my son!&quot; (5) Then Joab went into the house to the king and said, &quot;Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. </li></ul>
  39. 39. 2 Samuel 19:1-8 NIV <ul><li>(6) You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. (7) Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the LORD that if you don't go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall. This will be worse for you than all the calamities that have come upon you from your youth till now.&quot; (8) So the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. When the men were told, &quot;The king is sitting in the gateway,&quot; they all came before him. Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes. </li></ul>
  40. 40. David was told he was still needed and loved <ul><li>You can’t take away the hurt, but you can offer a place to belong and a place to heal </li></ul>
  41. 41. Forgiveness must be accepted and extended <ul><li>Failure as a parent is not the unpardonable sin </li></ul><ul><li>Accept God’s forgiveness </li></ul>
  42. 42. Extend forgiveness to: <ul><li>Self </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stop beating yourself up </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Spouse </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ If only you …” kills relationship that provides strength </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Child </li></ul><ul><ul><li>God is the model of how to forgive imperfect children </li></ul></ul>
  43. 43. Pain crippled David, but it didn’t destroy him <ul><li>David lost Absalom, but made Solomon something </li></ul><ul><li>His pain: growing pain </li></ul><ul><li>God turns tragedies into triumphs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Parents – cannot undo mistakes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children – never too late to return </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Friends & family – learn from others’ mistakes and extend your love </li></ul></ul>