“And the king said, Let him turn to his own house, and let him not see my face…. So Absalom dwelt two full years in Jerusalem, and saw not the kings face.” II Samuel 14: 24,28
I have heard it said, “Bitterness is like drinking poison –and hoping the other party drops dead” -no, you are destroyed. Relationships die and families are broken. All because issues are not faced and resolved. All because we are not willing to say, “I’m sorry.”
David’s eldest son, Amnon, lusted after his half sister Tamar. Upon the advice of his cousin he feigned sickness and connived to have Tamar serve him a meal in his bedroom, While she was there he forced himself upon her and committed rape and incest. His lust then turned into intense hatred for her.
When David heard about it he was very angry–but he did nothing to punish Amnon, or to bring justice to Tamar. The issue just festered in the family. Absalom, Tamar’s full brother waited for two full years for his father to act, but David did nothing. Absalom then took the matter into his own hands and had his brother Amnon slain–then he fled for his life.
For three years Absalom remained in exile while David longed and grieved for him–but would not bring himself to bridge the gap. Nobody was willing to say, “I’m sorry”.
Joab finally tricked David into allowing Absalom to return. David allowed Absalom to return to Jerusalem but refused to meet with him or to talk with him. Nobody was willing to face saying, “I’m sorry”.
For two whole years David refused to speak with his son–so the issue was never resolved. During those two years Absalom grew bitter. Finally Absalom forced a meeting with his father at which time Absalom bowed and David gave him a formal kiss but the Bible never says that words of reconciliation ever were spoken. No one ever said “I’m sorry, Please forgive me”.
From that point on Absalom was in rebellion. Unforgiveness led to bitterness, and bitterness let to open rebellion–all because nobody was willing to face family issues and nobody was willing to say, “I’m sorry–Please forgive me”.
P. D. Buford, Editor of the Pentecostal Herald, sent me the following story:
Once, in Europe there was a father and a son who had a violent disagreement. The argument intensified–words were spoken. Suddenly, the boy said in anger, “I’m leaving home!”.
The angry father returned with, “If you leave–then, never come back!” “I never want to see you again!”
The son left.
The father hoped that the son would repent and return. Three days passed and no son. The father, filled with remorse became worried and began to make inquires about where the boy was. The son seemed to vanish into thin air. Months passed and the father continued to look for his son. He finally went to another city and decided to put a personal ad in the newspaper.
“Son, I’m sorry for what I said. If you can find it in your heart to forgive me – meet me in the square at 10:00 o’clock Friday morning.”
Afraid that the son would not forgive him, or else never saw the ad, the father went to the square early. Upon entering the square he found the square filled with young men.
This world is crying out for forgiveness. Words are spoken in anger which pride keeps us from retracting. Many times we hurt the ones we love the best.
Could it be that some of your family still are in the square – waiting for you.
Why don’t you be the one to bridge the gap and say, “I’m sorry!”
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