The Evil of Parental Negligence (A case study of King David)

By Peace Wobo

During the course of my quiet time last week, with the Daily Guide as usual, we did a study on King David from Psalms 3:1-8 titled “From the Lord comes Deliverance”. This particular Psalm was written when David was running away from his own son Absalom. We were referred to 2 Samuel Chapter 14-17 to get full account of what happened. 

David indeed was a great King yet he had various flaws as a father and some of those flaws will be considered in this write up.

Before we look at Chapter 14 and some flaws there, let me take us aback a bit, do you remember that Amnon raped Tamar his sister and off course she was Absalom’s sister as well? When this happened, David was very angry but he failed to discipline Amnon and that started piling up hatred in Absalom’s heart towards Amnon and maybe towards his father as well. We all know how it ended, Absalom killed Amnon after two years.

It is good to get angry as a parent but don’t just stop at getting angry without properly disciplining your children. Getting angry and keeping quiet without speaking with the child doesn’t change anything.

I will be picking few verses from each Chapter that ministered to me for us to examine together. Chapter 14:24,28. This is when David brought Absalom back after he ran away for killing his brother Amnon and David asked him to go to his house and he should not see his face.

If David had disciplined Amnon as a father, maybe Absalom wouldn’t have thought of killing him.

Leaving Absalom to himself after bringing him back to Jerusalem was another big mistake. As a father, David could have called his son, reprimand him, teach him again and remind him of the laws of God and also point out the consequences of ignoring God’s laws but instead he left him on his own for two good years. It implies that Absalom as a Prince was in his own land among his brethren yet he lived as an outcast, he never attended any family function or meeting for two years. You can imagin! Though all these was God’s punishment upon David coming to pass.

Lessons for us as Christian parents:

Let’s learn to live a godly life and pass righteousness to our next generation.

This is also a call for parents to know that abandoning their stubborn children is not the best option. Leaving the child on his or her own will do no good.

When you abandon them, you expose them to the weapons of wickedness and they could use that weapon against you in the future. Let’s rather pray for them, continue to teach them God’s word and keep instructing them in the way of righteousness.

Chapter 15:7, two years after Absalom saw the face of his father, he took 4 good years to plan his father’s downfall. Yet, no member of his family knew what he was doing nor did any of the king’s servant or guard took note of what he was doing very early at the gate every morning for good 4 years.

It is worth pondering on, how lazy were the king’s guards and servants? They were simply sleeping on duty. When Christians sleep on duty, the enemy will strike suddenly. When we stop studying and mediating on God’s word, the devil begins to plant negative thoughts gradually in our hearts. Backsliding does not happen overnight, it takes time, it’s a process that eventually comes to manifestation. Nobody plans to kill you overnight and carries it out the next day. The enemy is always very patient and strategic with his plans, he will study your strength and weaknesses for years, and anytime you are vulnerable he will strike you so that he can get his desired result, “to destroy, to kill and to steal”. It is left for us to understand why Jesus keeps calling on us to watch and pray.

To be honest, I asked myself a lot of questions here. David being a King, sat in his palace for 4 years and no matter was brought to him and that didn’t give him any concern. How did the whole Israelites mature overnight that there are no longer disputes amongst them? He never thought of calling his people to know how they were faring and what was going on in the land and for 4 years Absalom gained ground and won over the people’s heart. This is the evil of negligence!

In verse 13 of this same chapter a messenger comes up.

To me, this message should have come during Absalom’s planning stage. This is to show us how the enemy messes up one’s life when the word of God is ignored, when His instructions are neglected and we act with complacency towards matters of life. Learn to make the right decisions when you need to make them so that you don’t end up making such decisions when it will cost you much more.

In chapter 17:14, I just have one thing to say in conclusion. Only God can frustrate the counsel of the wicked and turn it around for our good and this happened because King David sought God’s face despite his flaws. Let’s learn to always seek God’s face in every area of our life.

Note: Do well to look up the verses highlighted from each chapter in your Bible and make your comments as well.

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