There's no avoiding it.
Right in the middle of King David's family.
A tragedy of ugliest proportions.
Added to that...
shame, hatred, division, denial.
His family is pulled apart at the seams...
and the edges continue to unravel before his kingdom.
When King David heard what had happened, he was very angry.[d]
Dead Sea Scrolls and Greek version add...
But he did not punish his son Amnon, because he loved him,
for he was his firstborn.
And though Absalom never spoke to Amnon about this,
he hated Amnon deeply because of what he had done to his sister.
2 Samuel 13: 21-22 NLT
And now years pass...
no one speaking of it.
But the bitter root has planted.
It begins to burrow deep...
within Absalom, the older protective brother of this victim Tamar.
Within David, the silent father who no doubt feels guilt
that he did not see through the scheme of his lustful son Amnon.
Maybe he wonders if somehow he could have saved her from this...
under his watchful father's eye.
Deeper and deeper this bitter root spreads...
winding its way to tangle, strangle, and torture their hearts.
Revenge is the only fruit budding forth from Absalom's lips.
And he plants the seeds of it into the soil of those nearest and loyal to him.
And now this evil has born death.
Ammon gone to the grave...
the grief should be gone.
And yet, the gap of misunderstanding gapes wider than before.
Absalom vs David...
a war of souls,
This family of so long ago...
was not fiction,
was not fantasy,
was not just another Bible story.
These were real people,
in a real family,
living a real tragic outcome,
just as people do today.
But God has given wisdom,
even for this...
Be angry and do not sin;
do not let the sun go down on your anger,
and give no opportunity to the devil.
Ephesians 4:26-27 ESV
But how can this apply to such an awful sin?
The tragedy, the loss, the scandal.
Certainly this too would anger God above.
But it's not our anger that He reprimands.
It's the sin that follows...
the way we handle our anger.
And the time we allow to pass between...
like David and Absalom
who spent years, upon years not speaking,
not seeing each other's face.
They made no effort to reconcile
the gaping canyon of loss into which they stared.
They couldn't see how they shared it,
since they stood at different sides,
tethered to their own strands of this darkness.
Yet all the while, as their anger kept them transfixed,
they left their hearts open...
a door of opportunity
for the devil to make his home.
And the longer they waited,
the comfier he got.
And the very same thing can happen to us today.
We too need to be cautious of our anger,
of how we handle it...
especially of how long we hold onto it.
For even if we let our anger get a hold of us for a bit,
we need to let it go quick.
Because time is what gives way to opportunity...
The longer we wait to reconcile,
the wider we open the door for the devil
to make his way into our heart.
And he will not only enter,
he will stroll right in,
make himself comfortable,
and even pull up a chair...
a big, comfy easy chair.
Yep. He's gonna recline right there
inside our heart and make himself at home.
Why? You ask...
Because when we dig deeper
into the verse above from Ephesians,
we find that's what opportunity means in Greek...
5116 topes, (top'-os)
a place, region, seat
Where one can settle, abide, dwell
To give way to one
The seat one gives to another at a feast
The place one occupies, or has a right to
So if we do not let go of our anger,
reconcile, forgive, cross the canyon
and move past the disagreement...
then we have just invited the devil
to live comfortably within our heart!
And that is NOT what I want to do.
I have invited Jesus to live in my heart.
And while I believe He is strong enough
to conquer the devil,
He also gives me free will.
So He will let me open the door to the devil too.
I do not want the devil to dwell comfortably in my heart...
to sit there feeding me lies,
camping out, hardening me
to the grace and mercy
God so longs me to receive and to give.
But this also brings to light
a few people that I know.
And why they act as they do.
it gives me a better sense of the grace
I can extend to them because they don't realize
the door they have opened
for evil to enter and reign in their heart.
They most likely have less self control
because the devil camps out there every day,
just chillin' in his easy chair, thinking he can call all the shots.
Word of God,
train me, today...
to acknowledge my anger, and humble my heart that I might not sin against You,
to let go of the need to be right, that I may reconcile with others quickly.
thank You for living within my heart.
Remind me to quickly reconcile my pride.
Let me not open a door to my enemy,
inviting the devil into a comfortable place
within my heart.
Keep me humble,
drawing closer to You...
Give me patience
and grace to deal well
with those I know who
have opened the
door of opportunity
to thier heart.
Guide them to the truth
that they may know YOU,
and kick the enemy out
sealing Your presence in
for You to reign
in their hearts.
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