Daily Devotional

January 28

Grieving a Lost Child

by Peter G. Feenstra


Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33)

Bible Reading

2 Samuel 18:19–33


Parents who have experienced both the grief of losing a child to death and to the ways of this world, have stated that the latter is far more difficult to handle than the former. A son or daughter who has died believing in the Lord is safe in the arms of Jesus. A rebellious child is not safe and is on a path to eternal ruin.

If a child turns away from the service of the Lord, loving parents often chastise themselves. They wonder what they did wrong or what they could have done differently. They are riddled with guilt, pain and grief.

King David experienced the loss of a son in battle. Absalom was not walking in the ways of the Lord when he died. He was full of himself and his good looks had gone to his head. Absalom was extremely conceited and proud. He was constantly busy with himself, his hair, and trying to charm others. Absalom pushed all the right buttons and stole the hearts of the people of Israel. He convinced many that he would make a better king than his father.

Absalom was a very capable man but his spiritual life was running on empty. He had no regard for the Lord. 2 Samuel 15-18 inform us that Absalom went to Hebron to make himself king. He lured some of the best men in the kingdom to join him in rebellion. His father David is driven out and is at the point of losing everything. A decisive battle follows. Absalom gets caught in a tree by the very hair he idolized. He is found by David’s men and killed. The news of Absalom’s death fills David’s heart with grief. His grief is intense because he has no certainty that his son is with the Lord.

Pause this day and pray for parents who are gripped with grief for their straying sons and daughters. Pray that they may find comfort in the mercy of the Lord. As long as sinners have life and breath there is hope. Make it part of your prayer life to make petitions for those who are straying and living a sinful life. Considering how much sorrow is carried by those who feel the hurt and pain of seeing their children wander away from the service of the Lord, don’t you think it is time to surround them with our prayerful support?

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