But the death of his son Absalom makes him lose sight of God’s sovereignty. His grief blinds him to the fact that God has given him victory and returned him to the throne. God has never left him nor forsaken him. His cry, “If only I had died instead of you!” reveals his doubt of God’s wisdom and overarching plan for David’s life and for Israel.
We all go through circumstances which can cause us to doubt. We see young children suffer. Families are ripped apart. Women are abused by the one who promised to love and cherish. Natural disasters kill scores of people and destroy everything others have spent their lives building. In the midst of such tragedy, we wonder if God really sees. If He really loves. If He really does command the wind and the waves.
Our pastor has recently shared this wisdom for times when doubts assail us: “Measure God’s love for you by the cross and His power by the resurrection.” God’s love for us is demonstrated not by the tragedies in our lives, but by his willingness to endure tragedy for us. His power is seen best not in the devastation and destruction, but in creation and resurrection. Resurrection power is not only that which brought Jesus back to life, but that which brings us back to life after circumstances have stolen virtually everything but our final breath. Resurrection power carried Job through the loss of his family, his wealth, and his health and saw him restored in every way--and even if our own restoration awaits eternity, we can be sure that God restores everything that sin destroys. Resurrection power enables the captive to become the victor, the disabled to be empowered, and the oppressed to overcome evil with good.
David needed Joab to remind him of God’s plan for him, to turn his eyes back on the Lord instead of on his circumstances. Where have I set my eyes in the midst of whatever loss I'm facing today?