Great King, Bad Father

Most Bible students are familiar with King David. He was a good man and an ancestor of Jesus Christ. David is an example to us all of how one can be a righteous man, yet still fall to sin. God made the following statement about David:


Acts 13:22 "And when He had removed him, He raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, 'I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.'

Yet we know that David sinned greatly. He committed adultery with a woman and then murdered her husband to hide his sin (2 Sam 11). Some of David's psalms express his regret for his sin.

David was also a father. He had several children who we are familiar with. For instance Absalom and Solomon probably ring a bell. He had other children such as Tabar, Amnon and Adonijah. The scriptures give us hints that David did not always fill his role as a father.

This is blatantly spelled out in the case of Adonijah. David was old and weak in bed. Adonijah like his brother Absalom at one point rose up to take his father's kingdom. The Bible says


1 Ki 1:5 Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, "I will be king"; and he prepared for himself chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run before him.
1 Ki 1:6 (And his father had not rebuked him at any time by saying, "Why have you done so?" He was also very good-looking. His mother had borne him after Absalom.)

As the account goes on we see that Bathsheba's son Solomon had been promised the throne. Therefore David sent word to have Solomon annointed.

As we already alluded to, even Absalom seemed rebellious against David (2 Sam 18). This resulted in the death of Absalom and a famous phrase from David.


2 Sam 18:33 Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: "O my son Absalom; my son, my son Absalom; if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!"

We also have recorded the sin of Amnon. Tamar was the lovely "blood" sister of Absalom. Their brother Amnon lusted after Tamar. Upon the advice of a friend, Amnon abused his sister (2 Sam 13).

The story of David and his children reminds us of the Priest Eli and his sons. God's first revelation to the young Prophet Samuel was


1 Sam 3:13 "For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile, and he did not restrain them.

We should learn to be cautious from the mistakes of these good men. Despite their efforts to be righteous and the great influence they had on even mighty nations, they failed with their own children.