2 Samuel 18 | Longing for Reconciliation

by | Jan 28, 2021

READ 2 Samuel 18

The king commanded Joab, Abishai, and Ittai, “Treat the young man Absalom gently for my sake.” All the people heard the king’s orders to all the commanders about Absalom. (2 Samuel 18:5)

How do you treat the people that have betrayed you? What does the Bible say about how we should respond? Well, there’s a situation in 2 Samuel 18 that deals with this very thing. 2 Samuel 18 tells the story of King David fighting a war against his son, Absalom. Absalom has revolted against his father and insights civil war among the Israelites. Things got so bad for David that he actually had to flee the city of Jerusalem and at this point he and his men are preparing for battle.

You would think David would be filled with anger. But rather than desire this traitor to be punished he tells his soldiers, “treat the young man Absalom gently for my sake.” In other words, David is not concerned with enacting revenge but reconciling with his son. And this heart is the same heart God has toward us. In Ezekiel 18:32 God says, “For I take no pleasure in anyone’s death.’ This is the declaration of the Lord GOD. “So repent and live!” In other words, God desires that sinners are reconciled to him through Jesus. This does not mean he will not punish wickedness. And in 2 Samuel 18 Absalom is actually killed in the battle. However, like David, God’s overwhelming heart toward his children is that they be reconciled to him.

So when you feel betrayed or wronged what will your posture be? Will you seek revenge or reconciliation? My hope is that every believer would reflect God’s desire for seeing forgiveness and grace take root in the midst of every strained relationship.

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