Today's passage is 2 Samuel 13:23-39. Let's go!
2 Samuel 13:23 (NIV)
23 Two years later, when Absalom's sheepshearers were at Baal Hazor near the border of Ephraim, he invited all the king's sons to come there.
On verses 23-35: Sometimes you'll hear people say, "Time heals all wounds." It doesn't. We see that in Absalom's case. Two years had passed since Amnon raped Absalom's sister Tamar. Yet during those two years, Absalom's bitterness toward Amnon did not subside; rather Absalom held onto the grudge which eventually led him to mastermind Amnon's murder. Inviting all the king's sons to a dinner, Absalom orders his men to strike Amnon down when he is drunk and defenseless. After two years of holding a grudge and having the express intention of killing Amnon (v32), Absalom's plan is realized.
What can we learn from this? Some wounds do not heal with time. In fact, some wounds get worse over time when a wounded person refuses to forgive and allows bitterness to set in. Left unchecked, bitterness often ends up killing someone in some way. We can either stay bitter and experience death, or forgive and experience life.
2 Samuel 13:37-39 (NIV)
37 Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. But King David mourned for his son every day.
38 After Absalom fled and went to Geshur, he stayed there three years.
39 And the spirit of the king longed to go to Absalom, for he was consoled concerning Amnon's death.
On verses 36-39: David mourns for his son Amnon every day (v36). But Amnon is not the only son David lost during this time. Absalom himself flees to the King of Geshur and would stay in exile for 3 years (v38). After David was consoled over Amnon's death, David longed to go to Absalom (v39).
What can we learn from this? Despite the heinous crime Absalom committed and the devastation and loss Absalom caused, David still loved Absalom and did not want to be separated from him. Similarly, even though all of us have sinned greatly against God and people and caused devastation and loss, God's heart still longs to be with us.
Amnon was David's first born son and presumably the heir to David's throne. Amnon's name means "faithful and trustworthy", although Amnon's actions toward Tamar were anything but faithful. Amnon's death would cause Absalom to be separated from his father.
In contrast, Jesus is known as the first born over all creation and the heir to the Father's throne. His name means "Saviour" and he truly lives up to His name, for whereas the death of David's first born son Amnon caused Absalom to be separated from his father, the death of Jesus, the firstborn over all creation, has caused us to be reunited with our Heavenly Father.
Heavenly Father, thank You that though time does not heal all wounds, Jesus Your Son came to heal our every hurt. I pray for those reading today's GAME sharing, that they would extend forgiveness to those who have hurt them and not to let bitterness set in. Thank You also that whereas Amnon's death separated a father and a son, the death of Your Son Jesus meant that we could be reunited with You. I pray for all those in my life who do have not yet been reconciled to You. Like David's heart longed to go to Absalom, so Your heart longs to go to them. I pray they would respond in faith to Jesus, His death and resurrection, and be reunited with You. In Jesus' name, AMEN!