A messenger soon arrived in Jerusalem to tell David, "All Israel has joined Absalom in a conspiracy against you!" "Then we must flee at once, or it will be too late!" David urged his men. "Hurry! If we get out of the city before Absalom arrives, both we and the city of Jerusalem will be spared from disaster." (2 Samuel 15:13-14 NLT)
I'm so grateful for the children God has given me. They're not perfect, but then again, neither is their earthly father. That being said, raising children is not for the faint of heart. It takes many hours, hard work, and lots and lots of wisdom. That is one of the reasons I find myself turning to God in prayer so often. I need His wisdom.
David was a man after God's own heart. When it came to his children, though, he made his fair share of mistakes. Maybe he didn't set the best example with Bathsheba. Maybe he simply didn't teach them well because he was unwilling to admit his own guilt. Maybe he was afraid to raise them in the discipline and teaching of the LORD. Whatever the reason, David ended up with rebellious children. One son raped his daughter. Another son killed the first son. Now his son was rebelling to take over the Kingdom. David's response? He ran. The problem is, God's law clearly told David at the time what to do with a rebellious son.
"Suppose a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father or mother, even though they discipline him. In such a case, the father and mother must take the son to the elders as they hold court at the town gate. The parents must say to the elders, 'This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious and refuses to obey. He is a glutton and a drunkard.' Then all the men of his town must stone him to death. In this way, you will purge this evil from among you, and all Israel will hear about it and be afraid. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21 NLT)
Like I said, helping a child move into the independence of adulthood is a harrowing task at times. Nonetheless, it is the ministry God has entrusted into the hands of every parent. We are called to empower our children to walk together with God. The more we work with them in the younger years, the easier it is as they grow older. As the saying goes, "When they are little, they have little problems. When they are big, they have big problems." David apparently didn't work through the little problems. Now he is working through big problems...with a rebellious son.