David Is Grief-stricken
19 Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Please let me run and bring the king news that the Lord has [r]freed him from the hand of his enemies!” 20 But Joab said to him, “You are not the man to bring news this day, but you shall bring news another day; however, you shall bring no news this day, because the king’s son is dead.” 21 Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” So the Cushite bowed to Joab and ran. 22 However, Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said once more to Joab, “But whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.” And Joab said, “Why would you run, my son, since you will have no messenger’s reward for going?” 23 “But whatever happens,” he said, “I will run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain and passed by the Cushite.
24 Now David was sitting between the two gates; and the watchman went to the roof of the gate by the wall, and raised his eyes and looked; and behold, a man was running by himself. 25 So the watchman called out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is by himself there is good news in his mouth.” And he came nearer and nearer. 26 Then the watchman saw another man running; and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “Behold, another man is running by himself.” And the king said, “This one also is bringing good news.” 27 The watchman said, “I [s]think the running form of the first one is like the running form of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.” And the king said, “This is a good man, and he is coming with good news.”
28 Then Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “[t]All is well.” And he prostrated himself before the king with his face to the ground. And he said, “Blessed is the Lord your God, who has turned over the men who raised their hands against my lord the king.” 29 But the king said, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant, and your servant, I saw a great commotion, but I did not know what it was.” 30 Then the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.
31 Then behold, the Cushite arrived, and the Cushite said, “Let my lord the king receive good news, for the Lord has [u]freed you this day from the hand of all those who rose up against you.” 32 Then the king said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be like that young man!”
33 [v]Then the king trembled and went up to the chamber over the gate and wept. And this is what he said as he walked: “My son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you, Absalom, my son, my son!”
In verse 33 we see a part of the heart of God for us. Though Absalom was rebellious and had caused David much grief over the years, Absalom was still his son, and he loved him very much.
Likewise, though we can be (and sometimes are) rebellious, though our sins cause God much grief, He loves us. And though David wished he could take the place of his son, and was powerless to do so, God is not.
God’s plan from the beginning was to take our place when we were mired in sin and rebellion. Then, when He sent Jesus to this earth to be our sacrifice, he did take our place. The punishment for our sin, for our disobedience, for our rebellion, was put upon Him.
Not only that, but God has gone one step further, and called us back into His family, to be restored to our rightful position as children of the King. It is not a thing to be taken lightly, nor to be delayed, as if there would be a better day to submit oneself to God. Today, is that day, there is no better choice, and no better day. There can be none, for being a child of the King of the Universe is without rival, without parallel, and nothing else even comes close to that gift.