I Samuel 13:28 (NLT) Absalom told his men, “Wait until Amnon gets drunk; then at my signal, kill him! Don’t be afraid. I’m the one who has given the command. Take courage and do it!” 29 So at Absalom’s signal they murdered Amnon. Then the other sons of the king jumped on their mules and fled. 30 As they were on the way back to Jerusalem, this report reached David: “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons; not one is left alive!” 31 The king got up, tore his robe, and threw himself on the ground. His advisers also tore their clothes in horror and sorrow.

The Lord placed on my heart to tell you today that without true forgiveness, bitterness will inevitably tear our relationships apart. No relationship or family will hold together for long if the people involved are unable to grant forgiveness. I don’t just mean saying the words “I forgive you” but actually relating to your spouse, child, parent, or friend with your actions that display forgiveness. Giving voice to forgiveness might create peace temporarily, but when that forgiveness isn’t evidenced by the way you live, true reconciliation will never result. Who do you need to forgive?

In today’s reading let’s learn from a man who went before us. Absalom, the third son of King David, suffered much and also caused much suffering because forgiveness wasn’t a part of his life. When Absalom discovered that his sister had been raped by his half-brother, anger and hatred built up in him for two years until he finally killed him. Then to avoid the wrath of his father, he was on the run for a period of three years. And even after he returned he and his father, David, didn’t speak to one another for two more years. And you thought your family had issues!

Well, Absalom never regained the love he had for his father. In fact, Absalom spent the rest of his life scheming against his father, King David. His life ended while he led a rebellion against his father. Absalom is an example of the wasted years and broken hearts that can result when we harbor bitterness and are unwilling to forgive. (Please read the entire story in I Samuel 13 to I Samuel 18)! My beloved wife Robin Baker dealt with this matter of forgiveness in her Amazing play the “The Dwelling Place” it will be back and don’t miss it this time family!

For His Kingdom,
Pastor James Baker

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