44. Appreciate those closest to you

Last week we saw how Shimei, a descendant of Saul, came in the 'Name of the Lord' and slandered David. He threw him with stones and cursed him using lies of the devil. The Lord never spoke through Shimei. David didn't do anything, but left it in the Lord's hands. We learned that we shouldn't listen to negative prophetic word coming from one person towards us. God's prophetic word will always be confirmed by more than one witness and it will be uplifting towards you as we saw last week. We should only take what is confirmed and then leave the false prophet in God's hands to deal with.

In the meantime Absalom is in Jerusalem strengthening his case to become king himself. His advisor told him to immediately go after David and kill him. He said that all the people will then turn to Absalom. This advice pleased Absalom and the elders of Israel. This was the best plan, but God frustrated their plans by sending David's friend, Hushai, to pretend that he was on Absalom's side. Hushai said they should rather wait and gather the whole army of Israel and go to war. As David was a fierce warrior, therefore it will be better to have more men gathered. This advice bought David time and God ordained that Absalom rather follow this advice, which was actually beneficial to David.

So the next day Absalom gathered the forces of Israel and went to war against David and his men in the woods of Ephraim. It was a bitter slaughter. The men of Israel fell before David's men, plus the Bible tells us that the woods devoured more people that day than the sword did.

David asked his leaders to be gentle with Absalom. Even though Absalom tried to kill him, he still loved his son. So it happened that as Absalom was riding on a mule, his hair got stuck in a great tree. The mule kept on riding and Absalom was left hanging. Joab, David's commander heard of it and killed Absalom, against the wishes of David. Then Joab blew the trumpet and the people returned from pursuing Israel. When Israel heard that Absalom was dead, they fled.

Joab sent news to David that the battle was over and that Absalom was killed. David was so sad that Absalom was dead and cried for him bitterly. David's whole army was saddened when they saw this. The victory of the day turned into mourning. Then Joab came and confronted David:

"Today you have disgraced all your servants who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives and the lives of your concubines, in that you love your enemies and hate your friends. For you have declared today that you regard neither princes nor servants; for today I perceive that if Absalom had lived and all of us had died today, then it would have pleased you well. Now therefore, arise, go out and speak comfort to your servants. For I swear by the Lord, if you do not go out, not one will stay with you this night. And that will be worse for you than all the evil that has befallen you from your youth until now." 2 Samuel 19:5-7

David listened and went out. He spoke to his men and sent messages to all of Israel. And they all agreed to reinstate him as king again.

I think the reason that David was so sad about Absalom is that he knew it was actually his own fault. He didn't act and punish Amnon for raping Absalom's sister. This resulted in Absalom taking revenge himself. And then Absalom fled and David took five years before he allowed Absalom back into his sight. He should have forgiven him much quicker, as this time allowed hatred and revenge to brew in Absalom's mind. All and all David should have punished Amnon and then nothing of this would have happened. David knew this and that is why he was so sad. He loved Absalom and his own inability to discipline Amnon and to forgive caused Absalom and Amnon to be killed in the end. But David had to snap out of it and move on. He had to forgive himself too and appreciate those that he had in his life. He had to go out and tell them that.

We also need to forgive ourselves for things that had happened in the past. We need to let go. We hurt ourselves and those around us in the process. We need to snap out of it, forgive ourselves and move on. We have to. We also need to appreciate those that we have in our lives. Unfortunately we lash out against those closest to us when we are stressed and tired. We tend to speak kindly to others and be tired of kind words when we get home. That is not right. We need to treat those closest to us with the utmost respect and treat them the best. They are our support and those that carry us through dark times. Love them and appreciate them anew in your life. Tell them that. They need to hear it.

Father, thank you for those that You have placed in our lives. Thank you that they are so close to us. We appreciate them and love them. We also forgive ourselves for things that we have done in the past. We let go and we give it into Your capable hands. Amen

1 comment for “44. Appreciate those closest to you”

  1. Gravatar of HenriHenri
    Posted Tuesday, 16 March 2021 at 2:36:14 PM

    So true. We often hurt those closest to us the most. We need to accept differences in others.

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