“And Absalom met the servants of David. And Absalom rode upon a mule, and the mule went under the thick boughs of a great oak, and his head caught hold of the oak, and he was taken up between the heaven and the earth; and the mule that [was] under him went away.” 2 Sam. 18:9 KJV
Absalom had rebelled against his father, King David. The young man had risen up against his king in bitterness and had stolen the kingdom from David. The Bible says, in front of all Israel he shamed the king by sleeping with the king’s concubines on the roof of the palace. Then he took to the battle field determined to deal the death-blow to David. Fixated on destroying his father’s forces Absalom instead ended up hanging from a tree by his hair…by his pride.
In all truth Absalom was hung out to dry long before he got caught in the tree by his hair. His bitterness had made him a slave to hate and defeat long before his luscious locks caused his untimely demise.
How many times have I gotten hung up between Heaven and Earth unable to move one step closer to God because of unforgiveness. I read stories like those of Absalom and wonder how different it could have been if Absalom had just turned the issue over to God. Admittedly it was a pretty serious issue (the rape of his sister by his half-brother) that caused his bitterness. Even so as he hung there suspended from the bonds of poetic justice I wonder if Absalom ever realized the price for his hatred was too high. I know the story makes me realize the price is too high for me. I will not hold a grudge large or small. I must forgive at all times so that someday I will not be held up to destruction by my pride and glory.
Have you ever been bound by bitterness? How did you escape?