Scripture: 2 Samuel 14:28 So Absalom (King David’s son) lived two full years in Jerusalem, without coming into the king’s presence. 29 Then Absalom sent for Joab to send him to the king… (Absalom said to Joab) Now let me go into the king’s presence; if there is guilt in me, let him kill me!” 33 Then Joab went to the king and told him; and he summoned Absalom. So he came to the king and prostrated himself with his face to the ground before the king; and the king kissed Absalom.

Observation: King David’s family was a mess – as are many families. Stay with me here because this can be a bit confusing. David’s oldest son Amnon had raped his own half sister Tamar (same father, different mother). Amnon’s half brother Absalom took revenge for his sister and killed Amnon. He then fled to another city to save his life. King David was ok with letting Absalom remain in exile, but then relented and allowed Absalom to return to Jerusalem after two years. In this passage David received Absalom back into his royal court.

Application: Forgiveness is hard, especially when someone hurts you in a big way. It took David two years to forgive his son Absalom. And, if you read the whole story, David did so reluctantly. Nevertheless, after two years of pain and loss, the family was restored. It’s our human nature to carry grudges. We have been wronged and feel justified in our anger. Yet the gospel of Jesus Christ not only provides for the forgiveness of our own sins, it requires us to forgive others.

Question for today: Where might you be withholding forgiveness?

Prayer: Heavenly Father, forgiveness is such a simple thing, but it’s also hard. When we are offended or aggrieved we want payback. Yet when we receive your grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, you call us to return the favor toward others. Give us grace today to be more like you. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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