2 Samuel 13
King David had many wives and they had many children. His oldest son was Amnon. He had another son, 2 years younger, named Absalom and Absalom had a sister named Tamar. While all 3 were children of David, Amnon and Absalom had different mothers while Absalom and Tamar had both the same parents. Kind of confusing, but you may live in (or be friends with) a blended family and understand this idea!
Anyway, once they were adults Amnon did something very mean and sinful to Tamar and refused to make it right. Poor Tamar went and lived with her brother, who took care of her but Absalom was very angry at Amnon and refused to speak to him anymore.
Two years later, Absalom invited all the men in the family to a party to celebrate the sheering of his sheep. King David decided not to go and kept his servants at home thinking it would be too big a party for Absalom to handle. However, all the king’s sons, including Amnon, went. While Amnon was in Absalom’s house, he had Amnon killed! All his other brothers fled home but Absalom fled to Geshur. He went and lived with his mother’s father, Talmai, King of Geshur.
Many wrong things were done in this story! Amnon should not have hurt Tamar. After he did he should have asked forgiveness. But we can’t control other’s actions. Amnon sinned, but Absalom had a choice in how he responded. He did one good thing, he took care of his sister. However, rather than forgiving Amnon and letting God punish his sins, Absalom allowed bitterness to grow from his anger and then sinned himself by killing Amnon. We cannot control other’s behavior, but we can decide how we respond to it. We can go the godly way and forgive and let God deal with it, or we can go the sinful direction and commit sin by seeking our own revenge. Remember that you are only responsible for your choices. Make godly ones! Forgive!
Think of a time someone hurt you. How did you want to respond? How did you respond? Was it godly? What could you have done differently?