This weekend I will reflect on David’s performance as a father. Generally it was pretty shabby. It is uncomfortable to see so clearly the effects of our passivity, lack of discipline, and with-holding of grace.
The story of David and his kids– Amnon, Tamar, and Absalom– is told over the pages of 2 Samuel 13-20. Today’s sermon is homiletically unusual because it is given from King David’s perspective. You will hear a first person account of David’s reflections about the discharge of his parental duties. Parenting is a role that impacts and shapes us all– either as practitioner or as someone’s legacy. King David as dad is King David at his most earthy and vulnerable:
Eugene Peterson calls David’s treatment of Absalom, ‘the third monumental sin of David’s life, the most inexcusable, and the one for which he paid the most. The adultery with Bathsheeba was the affair of a passionate moment. The murder of Uriah was a royal reflex to avoid detection. But the rejection of Absalom was a steady, determined refusal to share with his son what God had so abundantly shared with him.’
Leap Over a Wall p. 197