King David loved his son – Absalom – more than his life


Have you ever heard about the story of King David and Absalom? Have you ever received unfailing and infinite love? We are taken good care of by our parents, father and mother when we are sick or get into troubles. They don’t hesitate to sacrifice instead of us and cease to love us even though we aren’t aware of this. Likewise, David loved his son Absalom more than his life.

Sometimes we don’t recognize the depth of their love and sacrifice, for we are busy. But our parents love us much more than we do. And that they never change their mind and turn away from us. Our parents are always with us and give everlasting love. Just as physical parents love us like this, our spiritual parents – God – always comfort my mind and lead me to the best and the safest way. It is true love.

There is a story of the King David and his son, Absalom, expressing the father’s mournful love toward the son in the Bible. Through this story, we can exactly understand why God testified the King David as ‘a man after His own heart’


David and Absalom – The heartbreaking parental love story like unrequited love


Absalom, who was loved by David.

Absalom was born as the third son of the king David. He was very beautiful and flawless. It was said that he was the most beautiful in the Israel and wise. (2 Sam14:25)

He had committed sin to David, but was once forgiven. However, after that, David continuously refused to meet him. So Absalom set fire to the field of Joab who was favored by the king David so that Joab would visit his house, and Absalom persuaded Joab to bring him in front of the king David. In the eyes of father, how lovely he looked! Therefore, David gave lots of privileges to him.


Absalom killed Ammon

Ammon-and-Tammar | David and Absalom
Ammon-and-Tammar | David and Absalom


Ammon, son of David, fell in love with Tamar, the beautiful younger sister of Absalom who is half brother of Ammon.

Ammon had planned to raped Tamar and he did. So Absalom decided to revenge. When Ammon was invited to his house, he made his men to kill him.

Listen to parents’ voice. While raising children, all of the parents want their children to get along well with each other. They feel not happy if their children fight each other. For David, how sorrowful to heard his sons kill another. King David wept so bitterly and his mind was filled with miserableness.

Absalom lived away from the King David for three years. So King David no longer disliked Absalom. (2 Samuel 13) King David finally forgave Absalom with love of a father.



David and Absalom – Absalom revolted against David, his Father!


Absalom gradually revealed his ambition. He prepared chariots and horses for himself and tried to get popularity of people by name-dropping the king David. Because He had already attracted attention of people, to be the king of Israel, he proceeded the plans to kill his father, David. Absalom set up stratagem to take father’s men to the Hebron where David was anointed, to be the King of Israel and Abraham had hold a memorial service for God. And pretending to hold a memorial service for God, he had a coronation. After that he made Achitophel, who was a man of wisdom and adviser of David, to help him. Finally he defeated David and then he entered Jerusalem.



David and Absalom – David fled from Jerusalem


To escape from Absalom, David fled from Jerusalem in a hurry. Like people show their own colors in times of crisis. In the time of crisis, David commanded his faithful friend, Hushai to go back to Jerusalem as a messenger. It might have been dangerous because Absalom could have made Hushai spy for him. After all, everything went well as much as David expected.

Though David had strong trust and infinite love for his son Absalom, he was betrayed.

That, Alas, It was inevitable thing!



The final battle of David and Absalom and the death of Absalom.

death of Absaolm | David and Absalom
Death of Absaolm

David regrouped for the battle in Mahanaim and ordered the great general, Joab to fight with Absalom. David wanted to participate in the battle, but the soldiers didn’t want it.

By listening to their words, David instructed the generals and his people as follows:

Sam 18:5 The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittal, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders.

Hearing his orders, they couldn’t understand David’s command. “Be gentle to Absalom”, who tried to kill his father.

However, Joab, the general of David, broke the command when he saw Absalom hanging on a branch of a big tree because of his plentiful and coarse hair. Finally Joab killed Absalom.




O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom!


I would have died instead of you

When the messenger brought the news of the battle, David didn’t want to know anything but Absalom’s safety.

2 Sam 18:28 Then Ahimaaz called out to the king, “All is well!” He bowed down before the king with his face to the ground and said, “Praise be to the LORD your God! He has delivered up the men who lifted their hands against my lord the king.” The king asked, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”…

2 Sam 18:32 The king asked the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”…

David had no interest in the battle. At that moment, Absalom was the only interest.

2 Sam 18:33 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!”

David Mourned.

David Mourning for Absalom

We don’t need any explanations to know David’s feeling since the Bible describes the love of David for his son. In this story, we can figure out how much he loved his son. As he loved Absalom much more than his own life, he said like that “If only I had died instead of you”. He wailed for his son’s death, although his son aimed to kill him. David was only concerned about his son during battle against enemies. Absalom was everything to him. We are able to realize parents’ love through this story.




Christ’s true love through the story of David and Absalom

Acts 13:22 New International Version (NIV)

22 After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’

God said that David is “a man after His own heart” in the Bible. The reason is that the mind of David and God is same. In other words, God wanted to express His mind to us to know that He really loves us more than His life.


As you know, we are sinners from heaven. We are expelled from the Heaven. By the result of our sin which broke the law of heaven and tried to kill God. (Ge. 2:7~, Rev. 12:7, Isa. 14:12, Ez. 28:11) To compensate for our sin, Christ has come to this earth to save us. He was willing to be crucified compensation for our sin. His mind is the same as David, “If only I had died instead of you.”


Actually I am nothing in this world, but I am the most precious existence to God more than the whole universe. So He came to the Earth to save us.

We cannot describe the love and grace of Christ who has come to this earth only for our salvation.


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