David did everything he could to avoid killing his son, Absalom. He let Absalom live after he deserved the death penalty for murder. He let Absalom come home to live in his home town and in the household of David again. He even got out of town when Absalom rebelled and “took over” the kingdom by inciting the rest of Israel against David. Now, however, David could wait no longer. Absalom rallied an entire army of Israel to go and find David to kill his own father.
David now mustered the men who were with him and appointed generals and captains to lead them. So the battle began in the forest of Ephraim, and the Israelite troops were beaten back by David's men. There was a great slaughter that day, and 20,000 men laid down their lives. (2 Samuel 18:1, 6-7 NLT)
David wasn’t being a wimp. David wasn’t afraid of Absalom. David was simply giving Absalom every opportunity to turn his life around. David was king. Absalom couldn’t change that. That’s because God selected and appointed David as their king. Now, David would need to do what he had been avoiding all this time: administer justice.
During the battle, Absalom happened to come upon some of David's men. He tried to escape on his mule, but as he rode beneath the thick branches of a great tree, his hair got caught in the tree. His mule kept going and left him dangling in the air. One of David's men saw what had happened and told Joab, "I saw Absalom dangling from a great tree." "What?" Joab demanded. "You saw him there and didn't kill him? I would have rewarded you with ten pieces of silver and a hero's belt!" "I would not kill the king's son for even a thousand pieces of silver, " the man replied to Joab. "We all heard the king say to you and Abishai and Ittai, 'For my sake, please spare young Absalom.' And if I had betrayed the king by killing his son--and the king would certainly find out who did it--you yourself would be the first to abandon me." "Enough of this nonsense," Joab said. Then he took three daggers and plunged them into Absalom's heart as he dangled, still alive, in the great tree. (2 Samuel 18:9-14 NLT)
God is much the same way with us. God is patient with us. God gives us every opportunity to recognize the error of our ways. God wants us to turn around, so God does not give us what we deserve…yet. But He will. God is still King. Nothing we say or do can take that away from Him. In the end, God will administer justice.
So, how about you? Do you allow God to be King now or do you fight Him every step of the way? Do you try God’s patience or have you turned back to Him? Do you allow God to be King?