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Lessons From A Famous Father

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2 Samuel 18:33

33Then 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 Absalommy son, my son Absalomif only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!



·        Six year old Jimmy came downstairs crying.

·        “What’s the matter?” asked his Mother.

·        “Daddy just hit his thumb with a hammer, “ the boy replied.

·        “A big boy like you shouldn’t cry over a thing like that,” said the Mother. “Why didn’t you laugh?”

·         “I did,” he replied.



Miles of distance and centuries of time separate us from King David. He was a king and we are commoners. Still, despite the distance and the differences we can learn much about being fathers in this present day by looking at this father of long ago.

I.    Here Is a Cry of Grief.

A.   Absalom was a handsome and gifted son.

B.   David loved him dearly, even though David had many sons.

C.   David loved him dearly, even though Absalom had committed serious sins.

D.   David loved him dearly even though Absalom had tried to take the throne from his father.

E.   A father’s love is never conditioned on the child’s conduct.

F.    David’s grief is not lessened by the events that preceded it, nor by Absalom’s bad character. In fact, his grief may be even greater because of it.

II.    Here Is a Cry of Failure.

A.   David had been immensely successful in most of the things he had done.

1.    He had been successful as a musician.

2.    He had been successful as a soldier.

3.    He had been successful as an administrator.

4.    He had been successful as a politician.

B.   David failed as a father and that outweighed all his successes.

1.  In fact, David would gladly have given up his other successes if he could have traded them for success as a father.

2.  Many today give up success as a father and trade it for success in business or a profession.

C.    David’s failures, though, must be seen in true perspective.

1.  Fathers must accept some responsibility for the character of their children. They have a responsibility to set a good example, and to teach moral values.

2.  Fathers must not accept full responsibility for the character of their children. There are other influences that enter every life. Also, it must be remembered that every person is a free moral agent. Some fathers are carrying a load of guilt they do not need to carry.


III.    Here Is a Cry of Futility.

A.    David could not die for his son.

1.  A father can die for his child in the sense that he can die to protect the child. Most fathers would willingly do that.

2.  A father cannot die for his child in the sense that the father’s dying will keep the child from ever facing death. All of us must die.

B.    The Lord Jesus Christ could and did die for us.

1.         Romans 5:6; 5:18

a.     6For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. 18Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life.

2.         1 Corinthians 15:3, 22

a.      3For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 

3.         Romans 6:8

a.     8Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.

4.         We still have to suffer physical death, but it has lost its sting (1 Corinthians 15:54-56).

a.     54So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”  55 O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.

5.         We do not have to suffer the death that is the wages of sin (Romans 6:23; 8:1).

a.     23For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

b.      1There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.


While we learn much that is helpful from the example of David, we learn the most from the example of God. It is very important to remember that in the Bible God is described as a Father. God represents fatherhood at its very best.

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