Yesterday I got to be the master teacher in Sunday School giving a short summary of the lesson and then after breaking into small groups getting to lead the 9th-10th grade class. The lesson was about David and Absalom and everything that began with Absalom killing his brother Amnon after he had defiled their sister Tamar and raped her, then his overtaking the throne and eventually dying in battle.. Kind of a tough lesson to teach and honestly we could have spent a few weeks on the topic as it spanned over 5 chapters in 2 Samuel. The verses we looked at were 2 Samuel 13:1-14, 21-29, 37-39; 15:1-14; 18:1-15, and 31-33. There were so many points to think about here but one that stood out to me the most while studying and preparing to teach is David's reaction in 2 Samuel 18:33 after he receives the news that Absalom had died in battle. David is not simply sad but is heartbroken and grief-stricken. Why? Why would he be so broken over his son who had killed another of his sons, wrongfully taken over the throne causing David to flee, etc. It is because David's love for his son was unconditional. It did not matter that he had done all of these terrible things to him, David still loved him and wanted the best for him.
I can't help but be reminded of God's own love for us when I read this. Of course David's love for his son Absalom is nothing like the agape love that God has for us, but is symbolic of it. God's love is unconditional. There is nothing that can separate us from God's love if we have been saved (Romans 8:39). Wow! I can't get over that and hope I never do. This does not give us a license to sin or live our own way, but should draw us closer to Him. We should wake up every day with the desire to only live for Him and to bring Him glory. We should serve Him not out of duty but out of love and respect we have back to the God who has given us actual life through Jesus Christ. As I continue to grow in Christ I am trying to grasp a little better (even though as humans we will never fully grasp) the love that God has for me. I am trying to not only believe in my head that His love for me is so real, but believe in my heart in a way that allows me to continue to be transformed by Him daily. Today if you are struggling with God's love and how He could actually love Him then I want you to know that it is real and I want you to allow His love to grasp you in a way that you have never experienced before. I pray that His love would transform your heart so that you can then in return tell others about His love so that they too can experience this great love.