Samuel, Day 34: Taking Responsibility

2-samuelRead 2 Samuel 17: 24 – Chapter 19

Grace doesn’t mean that God will solve all your problems. Grace means that God is with you in your problems, forgiving you and empowering you to make better decisions.

David learned this the hard way. Even though God sustained David through his exile from Jerusalem, when he returned he learned of the death of his son, Absalom.

The king was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And thus he said as he walked, “O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” 2 Samuel 18:1,2

David’s grief was understandable, but he was more than a father. He was a king. His son was dead and he needed to attend to the living.

Joab, his army commander, had to grab his attention and redirect him (once again). It was unfair for David to be absorbed in the death of his son when Absalom was in the wrong and the people risked their lives for David. Joab said:

“Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines, by loving those who hate you, and by hating those who love you. For you have shown today that [c]princes and servants are nothing to you; for I know this day that if Absalom were alive and all of us were dead today, then [d]you would be pleased. 2 Samuel 19

This was a huge slap in the face and wake up call to David. David couldn’t have it both ways. He couldn’t ignore his son and his people and then expect it to all come out good in the end. No. There are consequences for mismanaging your life; sometimes harsh consequences.

You can shrivel and withdraw from life, full of regret and sorrow. Or you can own your failures and resolve to use your failure to spur you on to be the person God wants you to be.

I hope you can’t relate to David’s severe mistakes and consequences in his story. I hope all the consequences of your mistakes are reversible. But if they aren’t, then I hope you will learn from Joab and take responsibility for your past decisions and resolve to do better, with God’s help.

Prayer: Father, help me to own up to what I’ve done, the sin and mistakes. I don’t want to live my life as a victim, in sorrow and regret. I want to overcome my past, by the power of your Spirit, to become the person you created to be. Amen.