When David Provided Protection for his Mother and Father –
As we proceed to Father’s Day, I am lifting several examples in the Bible of the relationship between fathers and their children. Today’s story an incident in the life of David and his mother and father, Jesse. As the relationship between young David and king Saul soured, David flees for his life and his brothers and parents also flee to join him. They do not feel safe in Judah, so the brothers and parents of David join him as he and a small group of soldiers are on the run. David starts in Gath, but leaves because the people there do not trust him. Remember, it was Goliath of Gath that David knocked out with a rock from a sling shot, and then killed him. After Gath, David goes to the Cave of Abdullam (1 Samuel 22). Four hundred fighters are with him, plus his brothers and his mother and father. A cave was not a suitable place for David and his men to stay for long, so they leave and David asks the king of Moab to let his mother and father remain there until things are settled.
I find it so modern that David, the youngest son, should feel compelled care for his mother and father. First, this is not their fight. David and Saul are “Duking it out,” not Jesse and his wife. Second, they are getting up in years. I assume Jesse and his wife are between forty and sixty years of age. David does not become king until he is thirty.
Like young David, there are many of us today who are in a “Sandwich” generation, where we find ourselves caring for our children and parents at the same time. I feel that parents who have children who care for them are truly fortunate. Not every child will care for the parent in the same way, but if a parent has a child who will look out for them, they are blessed. Some will take their parents into their home. Others will seek care givers and facilities that will provide for their mothers and fathers.
My brother and I were fortunate that after the death of our mother, our dad found a wife and they had a good twenty or so years of marriage, all the way to his death last year. They could live independently together in a nice apartment that overlooked the Detroit River and Canada. My father’s death was draining on all of us, but Steve, Denise, Noah, Nathan and I kept in close contact with our dad up until he died.
The care David gives to his mother and father is a wonderful example for modern families.
1 Samuel 22: 3 David went from there to Mizpeh of Moab. He said to the king of Moab, “Please let my father and mother come to you, until I know what God will do for me.” 4 He left them with the king of Moab, and they stayed with him all the time that David was in the stronghold.
Questions for Reflection:
- What image comes to your mind when David asks the king of Moab to protect his mother and father?
- Why do you think David approaches the king of Moab to protect his parents? (hint: go back to the last chapter in the Book of Ruth)
Prayer: Lord, bless me to live long enough to be a blessing to my mother and father. Grant me the ability and the desire to look after my parents, to provide for my parents and to protect my parents. Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior I pray. Amen.
Written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
Photo by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III
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