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Bible Reading: 2 Samuel 13-23-39

2 Samuel 13:23-39
Now it came about after two full years that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Absalom came to the king and said, “Behold now, your servant has sheepshearers; please let the king and his servants go with your servant.” 25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son, we should not all go, for we will be burdensome to you.” Although he urged him, he would not go, but blessed him. 26 Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But when Absalom urged him, he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. 28 Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “See now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then put him to death. Do not fear; have not I myself commanded you? Be courageous and be valiant.”29 The servants of Absalom did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose and each mounted his mule and fled. 30 Now it was while they were on the way that the report came to David, saying, “Absalom has struck down all the king’s sons, and not one of them is left.” 31 Then the king arose, tore his clothes and lay on the ground; and all his servants were standing by with clothes torn. 32 Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, responded, “Do not let my lord suppose they have put to death all the young men, the king’s sons, for Amnon alone is dead; because by the intent of Absalom this has been determined since the day that he violated his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore, do not let my lord the king take the report to heart, namely, ‘all the king’s sons are dead,’ for only Amnon is dead.” 34 Now Absalom had fled. And the young man who was the watchman raised his eyes and looked, and behold, many people were coming from the road behind him by the side of the mountain. 35 Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons have come; according to your servant’s word, so it happened.” 36 As soon as he had finished speaking, behold, the king’s sons came and lifted their voices and wept; and also the king and all his servants wept very bitterly. 37 Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 So Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur, and was there three years. 39 The heart of King David longed to go out to Absalom; for he was comforted concerning Amnon, since he was dead.

Anger is a powerful emotion.  Anger in and of itself is not sin, as long as we focus the anger at confronting and resolving the problem.   The bible teaches that we are to “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” (Ephesians 4:26-27).  When we harbor angry feelings, and avoid confrontation, it becomes the sin of bitterness.  

This passage is an example of two men allowed their initial anger to become sin.   First, when King David heard that Amnon had violated his sister Tamar, he become very angry, but failed to confront his son (2 Samuel 13:21).  Under the law, David could have ordered his execution, or perhaps sought to bring him to repentance and forgiveness, just as God had forgiven David’s past sins of adultery and murder.  But instead David did nothing.

Absalom likewise did not speak to his brother but waited two full years before he plotted an elaborate revenge (vs. 23).  He took the law into his own hands without seeking the counsel of the Lord or insisting that his Father deal with the problem.  Absalom, allowed this righteous anger to become sin, leading to Amnon’s murder at the hands of his servants (vs. 28-29) and further grief for David and his servants.  This was also a fulfillment of God’s promise to bring judgment on the house of David, as a result of David’s sin with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:11).  

Has someone sinned against you in the past?  Are you are still holding a grudge or an unforgiving attitude toward them?  Do you refuse to even speak with someone, due to your feelings toward them?   God says you need to go, speak the truth in love, and seek to resolve the problem God’s way.  Lord, help us to do what is right, and to use our emotions to move us to action, as we walk in Your ways today.

Weekly Memory Verse:   O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!  Psalm 34.8