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When King David heard all this, he was furious. 2 Samuel 13:21 (NIV)

King David had many wives and children from those relationships. One day, one of his sons, driven by passion and lust tricked David and his half-sister into having her deliver food to his house. Once there he raped her.

There was no way that word of the attack didn’t reach the palace. In fact all of Jerusalem probably knew about the incident. Yet there was no ‘official word’ from the King as to any punitive action taken, other than the fact that David was reported to be very angry with the situation.

Two years later, another of David’s sons, Absalom, made good on a promise he’d made to his sister, the rape victim. He murdered his half-brother in retaliation for the incident that had been festering in his soul from the day his sister came sobbing to him with news of the attack.

Again, no ‘official statement’ came from the throne. However it was reported that the king was ‘deeply grieved’ over the events surrounding the death of his son.

Three years later, Absalom returned to Jerusalem. This time his goal was to gain the throne of his father, David. The ensuing civil war nearly cost David his throne…and cost him the death of one more of his children.

Absalom story is a perfect example of what can happen when sin isn’t confronted. Although David is referred to as ‘a man after God’s own heart’ his failure to lead his family speaks volumes!

Jesus calls us to be peacemakers. There is an old saying that ‘time heals all wounds.’ This is a lie. Don’t believe it. Wounds that are left to heal on their own are like cancer that goes untreated. The outside of the person may appear healthy and doing well, but inside a hideous beast is waiting to surface.

Allowing time to heal usually gives frustration, anger, resentment and bitterness to get a foothold on ones soul. That’s why Jesus taught us that if someone sins against us we are to leave everything and get it resolved. Paul tells us that we are called to ministry of reconciliation and that we shouldn’t let the sun set before we attempt to resolve the issue.

Conflict is inevitable. There will be some who simply refuse to reconcile. As children of God we are called to live at peace with all people regardless of the differences we have. Who do you need to forgive today? Who needs to be forgiven by you? What wrong have you been avoiding any involvement in? As a follower of Jesus it’s not an option to resolve conflict, it’s our duty.

PRAYER: Father God, you know how easy it is for me to become avoidant in the midst of conflict. Empower me with your Spirit to be a minister of reconciliation and grace to those who have wronged me and to those I’ve wronged. Amen.

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February 2023
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