These are the sons who were born to David in Hebron: The oldest was Amnon, whose mother was Ahinoam from Jezreel. The second was Daniel, whose mother was Abigail, the widow of Nabal from Carmel. The third was Absalom, whose mother was Maacah, the daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur. The fourth was Adonijah, whose mother was Haggith. The fifth was Shephatiah, whose mother was Abital. The sixth was Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, David’s wife. These sons were all born to David in Hebron. After moving from Hebron to Jerusalem, David married more concubines and wives, and they had more sons and daughters. These are the names of David’s sons who were born in Jerusalem: Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
2 Samuel 3:2-5,5:13-16
Dear God, for a long time now, David has been one of my “great man, bad father” examples.
One of the interesting things to note is that, of the first six boys born to him, they all had different mothers. Another interesting thing. Right before Solomon, it lists Nathan. Is this Bathsheba’s first child that died? Did they name him after the prophet that confronted David with his sin? Interesting.
You know that I started wondering last year about whether or not David would have made an even better judge for Israel than king. Was it the power of being king that corrupted his heart and distracted him? Not that Samuel was that great of a father. It’s just an interesting question.
We will see some interesting stories coming up about David’s parenting. Amnon will do something reprehensible–what will David do? Absolom will respond to Amnon’s action–what will David do? Even when Bathsheba’s baby dies, David’s response is peculiar. He didn’t seem to care about this child as his own. He didn’t mourn not getting to spend the rest of his life with this child. He treated it more as a random life for which he had responsibility, and he cared whether or not you would save it. When you didn’t, he moved on. I wonder if this story by itself gives us the insight we need into how David felt as a father. Is this how all fathers felt back then? Was this the cultural norm?
Father, you know how I feel about my children. It fascinates me how much of my thoughts they consume, even now that they are in their 20s. I hope for them. I pray for them every day. I reach out to them. I try to show them love. But now that they are older, I also try to back off enough so that they can have the space they need to develop their own relationships with you. Help me to find that line. Help me to be exactly what you need me to be for them. I’m sorry for how I’ve failed them and failed you in the past. I know I’ve let my own ego get wrapped up in my responses to them. I’m doing my best to not let that happen anymore.
In Jesus’s name I pray,