Amnon and Tamar and Absalom. What an atrocious mess! Yet, “the spirit of the king longed to go out to Absalom” (13:39). The father’s heart of David is showing here. Absalom, though he has killed his brother, is still David’s son, and David loves him with a father’s love. And though Absalom deceived and fought against his father and tried to usurp the throne from David, a father’s love is still a father’s love. Have to be careful here not to swerve too much into an allegorical understanding of all this, but certainly, it’s not too much of a stretch to suggest that our heavenly Father’s love for us is similarly persevering and unending.
Even though Absalom’s treachery against his father David was so great, how great, also, was David’s sorrow and grief when he heard that Joab had killed his son: “O my son Absalom, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (18:33). How great the father’s love for his son!
How deep the Father’s love for us
How vast beyond all measure
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure
How great the pain of searing loss
The Father turns His face away
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory. -- Stuart Townend (1995)