The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.
Absalom fled David’s kingdom after he killed his brother Amnon for disgracing his sister. (II Samuel 13) King David eventually brought Absalom back. Absalom then began a conspiracy to take over the kingdom. He set himself up as a judge over the people, sitting by the city gates and dispensing justice. After four years, he led a rebellion against his father. David fled from Jerusalem. In spite of all this, David told his soldiers, “Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake.” (II Samuel 18:5) When Absalom was killed in battle, David mourned, saying, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you.” (II Samuel 18:33) David’s love for his son Absalom was extraordinary. It is a love that is not self-seeking, proud, or envious, keeping no record of wrongs. Indeed, we need the power of the Holy Spirit to love others in this way! David had every reason to turn his back on his rebellious son who sought to take his throne from him, but the character of God consumed his life, and, like God, he was slow to anger, abounding in love, and forgiving.
It is easy to love those who are lovable and kind to you, but the true test of the character of Christ in you is to love your enemies: But I tell you:
Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven…If you love those who love you what reward will you get? (Matthew 5:44-46)
Who is God calling you to love today? Is it someone who has hurt you, someone who has been like Absalom to David and conspired behind your back to harm you? Trust the Lord and seek His love. He is calling you to love your enemies and to do good to all who hate you. (Luke 6:27)
Heavenly Father, This is a difficult Word. I have been wronged, and yet You are calling me to love my enemy. Pour Your love in me so that I can love those who have hurt me. Apart from You it is impossible to love in this way. In Jesus’ name, Amen