In my daily bible reading/devotional, I just came across an interesting scripture:
2Sam 18:32-33 And the king said unto Cushi, Is the young man Absalom safe? And Cushi answered, The enemies of my lord the king, and all that rise against thee to do thee hurt, be as that young man is. (33) And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!
In this passage, David received news of his son’s death and was extremely grieved. His statement resonates the embodiment of a father’s love, in the Contemporary English Version, saying “I wish I could have died instead of you! Absalom, my son, my son!” (2Sam 18:33). Interestingly, this is not the response we would expect David to make. Without getting into much detail, the context of this death should have been positive, at least partially, to David. Absalom had committed great sin and was trying to overthrow and murder his father. The following Absalom developed was significant enough to make King David afraid and push him into hiding. Yet, when a father received news of his son’s death, all of the iniquity he committed became forgivable.
David’s grief testified to the enduring and self-sacrificing love of a father. The dead son’s faults, sin, and shortcomings were immediately forgotten. The father instead saw the rebellious headstrong child as what they once were – innocent, pure, and loving. The prodigal is still a son. The love of a father is immortal and was not dissuaded by faults. The father was even willing to die for and to spare the disobedient child. Such a “father’s love” and deep affection resides in human hearts. However, take a moment to reflect on how much more love our heavenly father has for us. One author said it this way, “May we not see in this disclosure of David’s paternal love, stripping it of its faults and excess, some dim shadow of the greater love of God for His prodigals, – a love which cannot be dammed back or turned away by any sin, and which has found a way to fulfill David’s impossible wish in that it has been given Jesus Christ to die for His rebellious children?”
The message of this passage is simple; Absalom was no more worthy of his father’s forgiveness and love than we are of God’s. Yet, God manifested the same self-sacrificial parental love for us “in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Thus, how can I allow mere sin to separate me from Christ, when such great love spans my every inadequacy? Let not guilt, nor memory of wrongdoings, keep you from God. Rather, like the prodigal son, make the decision that “I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned …” (Luk 15:18). Surely we will be met by the same divine embracing reconciliation wherein: “he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him” (Luk 15:20). If you find yourself a “great way off” today, know that there is no irredeemable sin that can ever separate you from the love, compassion, and forgiving embrace of your heavenly Father.
Rom 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? […] (37) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. (38) For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (39) Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Knowing the love of God towards us, the only remaining question is what would stop you from seeking such reconciliation from the father today, which you have sinned against? The only escape from sin is by being born again (John 3:5, Acts 2:38), and so the scriptures plead with us, saying: “What are you waiting for? Get up! Be baptized, and wash away your sins” -Act 22:16 CEV. There is no better time to repent than now (Luke 15:10, 1John 1:9), there is no better time to be baptized than today (John 3:5, Mk 16:16, 1Pet 3:21), and there is no better time to receive the Spirit than immediately thereafter (Rom 8:9, John 3:5, Acts 2:38, Acts 2:4, 10:44-46, 19:6). “…behold, now is the day of salvation” -2Cor 6:2.
Other References: God’s Love: Deut 7:8, Psa 146:8, Jer 31:3, Jn 3:16, 13:1, 15:9,13, 16:27, Rom 5:8, 8:35, Eph 2:4-5, 5:2, 1Jn 3:1,16, 4:9,16, 2Cor 5:14, Gal 2:20