Rotten Kids (2 Samuel 18-19)

When I was pregnant, someone told me that having a child was like having your heart walking around outside your body. How true it is!

Most of King David’s children turned out completely rotten. With so many wives and concubines having children, David’s family dynamic was certainly complicated. His oldest son raped one of his daughters. When David did nothing about the rape, the girl’s brother Absalom avenged her by having her rapist (their half-brother) killed. That was just the beginning.

Two of David’s sons made power plays for their father’s throne while he was still alive, Adonijah (whom another son, Solomon, had killed) and Absalom. Absalom was so blatant in his rebellion that he raped ten of his father’s concubines on the roof of his home in broad daylight for the entire nation to see. Their betrayal devastated their father.

The case could certainly be made that David’s children turned out so poorly because of his failure as a husband and a father. David did fail dramatically. However, sometimes even when we do our best as parents, our children go their own way. No matter what the cause, nothing can hurt a parent like rejection by their children. It’s enough to break our hearts.

During his ill-fated rebellion, Absalom was killed. Thought this secured David’s throne and allowed him to return to the palace, David was still inconsolable at the loss of his son. “Oh, my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you,” the grieving father sobbed. The scene is devastating.

Fractured families are a goal of Satan. He would love nothing more than to have us so embroiled in hurt and conflict within our own homes that we don’t have the time or energy to pursue our relationship with Jesus.

The good news is, God doesn’t want our families to be in chaos. In fact, in the very lase verse of the very last book of the Old Testament, God promised to send someone who would, “turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents.” (Malachi 4:5)

If you are experiencing chaos in your family (and is there a family that hasn’t?) don’t lose hope! Continue to work and pray toward peace and restoration. Your family was meant to be a bright light for Jesus in a dark world, pray to this end.

(For those who have missed any of the previous lessons, you can go to and view all previous postings.)

Week Eleven

Day 1: 2 Samuel 16
Day 2: 2 Samuel 17
Day 3: 2 Samuel 18
Day 4: 2 Samuel 19
Day 5: 2 Samuel 20