REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, written by Pastor David Kwon of Journey Community Church in Raleigh, was originally posted on May 14, 2015. He is a graduate of Drexel University (B.S.) and Columbia International University (M.Div.).
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“The Dysfunctional Family”
2 Samuel 14:1-2, 12-17, 21, 33
Now Joab the son of Zeruiah knew that the king’s heart went out to Absalom.  And Joab sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman and said to her, “Pretend to be a mourner and put on mourning garments. Do not anoint yourself with oil, but behave like a woman who has been mourning many days for the dead.  Go to the king and speak thus to him.” So Joab put the words in her mouth. . . .  Then the woman said, “Please let your servant speak a word to my lord the king.” He said, “Speak.”  And the woman said, “Why then have you planned such a thing against the people of God? For in giving this decision the king convicts himself, inasmuch as the king does not bring his banished one home again.  We must all die; we are like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God will not take away life, and he devises means so that the banished one will not remain an outcast.  Now I have come to say this to my lord the king because the people have made me afraid, and your servant thought, ‘I will speak to the king; it may be that the king will perform the request of his servant.  For the king will hear and deliver his servant from the hand of the man who would destroy me and my son together from the heritage of God.’  And your servant thought, ‘The word of my lord the king will set me at rest,’ for my lord the king is like the angel of God to discern good and evil. The LORD your God be with you!” . . .  Then the king said to Joab, “Behold now, I grant this; go, bring back the young man Absalom.”  Then Joab went to the king and told him, and he summoned Absalom. So he came to the king and bowed himself on his face to the ground before the king, and the king kissed Absalom.
If you have ever watched shows such as Dr. Phil, one of the reoccurring topics is—the dysfunctional family. There would always be an episode about parents who were not doing their job or kids in rebellion, and it is tragic to hear some of their stories shared on national TV. As we have been reading the account of David and his sons—Absalom and Amnon—in the past few days, one observation we can make is how dysfunctional this family was. We have already seen rape, hatred, revenge, and murder— and it does not seem to be getting any better.
In today’s passage, Joab intercedes in patching up the relationship between David and Absalom. The reason is that David has little enthusiasm for Absalom’s return from exile and does nothing to reconcile with him. Joab sees the conflicted nature of David’s attitude toward Absalom (v. 1), so he brings a wise woman from Tekoa and tells her to present herself to the king as a woman in mourning with a story that Joab gives her. And so she prostrates herself before the king and cries out for help, saying that she is a widow with two sons, but they got in a fight in the field and one killed the other. The whole clan wants to kill the remaining son (which would be just), but this would destroy her one remaining heir. David tells her he would take care of it (v. 8). However, his ruling on this scenario hits home for David; he sees through the story after his ruling and realizes that Joab is behind the whole thing. So David allows Absalom back from his exile, but during the two years that he lives in David’s house, he has nothing to do with Absalom. In the process of time, Absalom grows impatient with David’s cold shoulder and summons Joab to come intercede for him –twice; but Joab declines to come. Absalom subsequently burns his field up to get his attention. Joab does subsequently speak to David, and David patches things up with Absalom
What are some lessons we can learn from today’s passage? We need wisdom, love and power in our families. Whether you are raising a family or still under your parent’s care, Christ has to be the center of the family unit. We cannot let bitterness, unforgiveness, or lack of care invade the families God has called us to be part of. Whether you are married or single, spend some time praying for the family you are part of. Maybe you can identify with the dysfunction of David’s family. Pray for healing, restoration, wisdom and Christ-centeredness. Lastly, we need to experience the love of our heavenly Father. David was not the perfect Father, but we know that those of us in Christ have a perfect heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally. Be reminded and comforted of this great truth today.
Prayer: Lord, I pray for my family that you would continue to rule and reign and be the constant center. May you protect us from the lies of the Enemy and the influences of the world we live in. We need your power and grace. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Acts 23
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 23: The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff,they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
Questions to Consider
- As believers, what do you think it means to not be “in want”?
- How should this truth free us from anxiety and worry? Why is this important to understand?
- How can these verses challenge and comfort you today?
- As a Shepherd, He is the One who is our Provider, and He satisfies our needs—that is the place where God wants to bring us. He wants us to be independently dependent upon Him—to need Him alone.
- It also means that He provides for our practical needs such as food, job, possessions, etc. We should never worry or be in want but rather continually trust in Him. Even in the darkest moments of our lives, God’s goodness and mercy follow us (v.6), which ought to give us confidence in our Great Shepherd.
- Take some time and meditate on what this means for you in every area of your life.
The appropriate response in any season of life is worship. You may be in the “green pastures” or you may be in the “valley of the shadow of death,” but no matter where you are, spend time worshiping and thanking the Lord. Thank Him for His care for you and the salvation you have through His Son Jesus. Thank him for His faithfulness that never ceases.