Mourning a Loss
2 Samuel 19:1-14
Rev. Dr. Ernest Brodie Jr.
 
 
 
David was suffering great depths of sorrow and pain because of Absalom’s death (2 Samuel 18:33). Even though Absalom had tried to kill him, David was wishing he had died instead of his son. Even when our children break our hearts repeatedly, they are still our children. David loved Absalom despite all that he had done against him. Perhaps, David looked back at the good times. Even as parents, we must remember our children will one day stand before God. Our objective is to prepare them for that day.
 
1.  Mourning a loss is part of the grieving process. David’s mourning was extreme. (2 Samuel 19:1-4) 
 
Considering Absalom tried to kill him, why was David’s mourning so extreme?
•  David was an emotional man. Examples are found throughout the Psalms, which show a wide range of emotions. Remember, his depths of despair at the death of Bathsheba’s son (Psalm 51).
•  David may have been aware of Absalom’s eternal destination. This was perhaps his real reason for despair since Abaslom was self-willed and did not love God.
 
A Believer’s Destination - 2 Corinthians 5:8: “We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” John 14:1-4 reminds us Jesus has gone to prepare a place for us that we might be with Him. “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.”
 
A Non-Believer’s Destination - 2 Peter 2:4 reminds us God spared not the angels that sinned and cast them into hell for future judgment. There is a day reserved for the unjust to be judged and punished. Revelation 20:10-15: “And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” 
 
One of life’s greatest sorrows is knowing your loved ones are headed for hell, because they rejected Jesus Christ. John 3:16-18: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” John 5:23-24: “That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
 
2.  Moving Forward (2 Samuel 19:5-14)
 
Joab confronted David and accused him of shaming them (verse 5). He confronted David’s continued mourning. Joab was eager to move forward. This is partly due to self-preservation because he had killed Absalom, even though he had been told to spare his life.
 
Joab did not hold the spiritual as sacred. He did not consider the eternal. He did not see things from David’s perspective. Joab thought only of himself. David’s son was dead, and David’s heart ached when he considered Absalom’s eternal destination.
 
Joab advised David (verses 5-7). David’s actions sent a message that he did not care for his people and that he loved his enemies more than his own army (verse 6). David spoke to the army (verses 7-10). He took Joab’s advice and expressed appreciation for their loyalty. He comforted them. They had fought hard to save his life.
 
David involved the religious leaders (verses 11-12). He went above and beyond Joab’s advice and reached out to the religious leaders. There was a rift between David and his own tribe of Judah. They had sided with Absalom in his uprising to become king. All the other tribes of Israel had sided with David. David wanted them to all be reunited. Despite their differences, they had God in common. Healing often involves a spiritual element, which cannot be ignored. God needs to be involved.
 
David replaced Joab with Amasa. He was deeply displeased with Joab. He had murdered Abner (a general under Saul) in cold blood, and he had murdered Absalom despite David’s order to spare his life. He had continually deceived David and undermined his authority. David reached out to the other half of the nation by appointing Amasa (a general under Joab). He was not the best choice and would eventually cause David trouble. 
 
David should have replaced Joab sooner. Proverbs 22:10: “Cast out the scorner, and contention shall go out; yea, strife and reproach shall cease.” Proverbs 19:25: “Smite a scorner, and the simple will beware: and reprove one that hath understanding, and he will understand knowledge.”
 
3.  Restoration of the Nation (2 Samuel 19:14). Restore - Develop - Unite. This is part of the duty of a good leader. We cannot help but mourn over a loss; however, these same emotions can be turned to good.
 
Only God can bring comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4: “Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” This is good counsel when it seems our world is falling apart, when we face losses, and when we encounter tribulations.
 
As Christians, we have the ministry of reconciliation. 2 Corinthians 5:17-20: “ Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.“ Our lives belong to God, and we are to live for His purpose. He has given to us the ministry of reconciliation and declared us ambassadors for Christ. Our task is to tell others about Christ.