“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?
Wonderful way of showing us through Absalom , what pride and unforgiveness does to us, Pastor J! I have been bound by bitterness and hung up on resentment. So thankful that God continued to speak to me and somehow I heard through all that hardness growing in me. What got through was Him showing me how I sounded to others, convicting me as I kept showing the person and situation I was bitter about, in a bad light. At first, He just helped me stop talking about it. Then step by step , He helped me to start saying kind things, loving things about this person. It is still something I have to stay close to Him about, an ongoing situation that needs ongoing forgiveness. God bless you as you help us learn and lean closer into Him!
This is such a powerful testimony about the constant keeping power of JEsus Deb! It is not enough to forgive once is it? Forgiveness is a daily walk but one worth taking! Thanks for this comment!
I have many faults, but harbouring grudges or bitterness isn’t one of them. I guess I’m a logical person, and it just doesn’t make sense to harbour bitterness. The only person who is harmed is myself, so why bother?
On the other hand – while bitterness isn’t a problem, lack of love sometimes is, and isn’t lack of love just as bad as bitterness? I need to go further than not harbour a grudge, I must actively love the person concerned. Some people are not so easy to love – but the love of Christ within makes it possible.
This is so true Angela. To forgive is not just to stop hating but it is top start loving even if that loving can only be done from afar for reasons of personal healing. Christ is the only one who can make this possible and Praise God HE does!
A few years back I was in a situation that made me very bitter towards an individual. I was so angry I knew it was not good for yet I couldn’t let it go then a brother in Christ said if you don’t let it go how can God begin to work in the situation. Praise, God for my brothers and sisters in Christ who helped through and I can honestly say today that I have forgiven and have asked for forgiveness. Life is so much better when God works on them and not you. It’s good to have you back Pastor J. God bless you.
Thanks Deb! It is good to be back! It is so true that when we release control we ourselves are released from the pain and heartache that engulf us!
Beautiful lesson, Pastor J! Thanks!
Thank you Paulette