The Divided Place of Reconciliation

Leah DiPascal

Day: 49 | Plan: 1-2 Samuel

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 18

2 Samuel 18:33 (NIV) “The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: ‘O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!’”

Have you ever been at odds with a loved one? Has a friend or family member ever retaliated against you with hurtful intentions? Maybe their words were thrown like daggers, aiming straight for your heart, leaving an open wound that’s taken forever to heal. You lack the peace that comes in the restful place of reconciliation, but you’re just not sure how to get there again.

In today’s reading we discover the hard realities of a father (King David) and his son (Absalom) who didn’t take the important steps to fully reconcile and find peace in their relationship.

Interestingly, the name Absalom means father of peace; however, we’ve seen very little peace in Absalom’s life. He intentionally chose war over peace and took steps towards rebellion instead of reconciliation with his own father, David. And through calculated attempts to dethrone the man who loved and raised him, Absalom tried to take what wasn’t rightfully his and found himself in the middle of a raging battle against David’s mighty army.

I’m sure this tug of war between father and son was the furthest thing from David’s mind when he too made calculated attempts to take what wasn’t rightfully his – that is Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. (2 Samuel 11)

Over the last several chapters in 2 Samuel (2 Samuel 13-17) we’ve read about the tragedies of Tamar, Amnon and now Absalom. We’ve seen how the private sins of David had a trickle-down effect of consequences within his own family. Absalom was not excluded from those consequences. And as the anger, bitterness and hurt stirred within his heart over the years, it eventually exploded in a prideful revolt with David as the object of his retaliation.

Maybe Absalom thought it would be easier to take the place of his father, instead of humbling himself to be reunited with him. As sin grew and was allowed to go unchecked, it ushered Absalom into places he shouldn’t have gone and eventually into a precarious position that literally left him helplessly hanging in midair. (2 Samuel 18:9)

Unfortunately, there were no cries for mercy and no reunion of love between David and Absalom. The possibility of peace that could have come from reconciliation escaped Absalom as Joab (David’s commander) thrusts three javelins into his heart, causing Absalom to take his final breath. And peace fully escaped David as word came that his son Absalom was killed while helplessly hanging from an oak tree.

“The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: ‘O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you—O Absalom, my son, my son!’” (2 Samuel 18:33).

The anguished cries poured out from a father’s broken soul was proof of a gaping hole that would be left in David’s heart for years to come as he grieved the loss of his son, Absalom. It was a wound that could have been avoided if reconciliation was given a place to grow in their relationship.

Is there a relationship in your life that needs reconciliation? Maybe it’s time to start the conversation and take the necessary steps to regain peace in your relationship with them. Don’t allow past hurts to get in the way of a restored future. A good place to begin is by having an honest conversation with your heavenly Father, who is always pursuing you and waits with open arms to embrace you with the fullness of His unconditional love. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, give me Your words and show me ways to reach out to others in love. Let Your peace become a path that leads me towards restoration. Mend those relationships in my life that have been broken over harsh words and hurtful accusations. Restore peace once again. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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