Cover to Cover
Before Jesus’ death, He goes through more questioning and discussion. The intellect tries to understand spiritual truth, but it is the Holy Spirit that gives revelation. As Jesus told His disciples in the hearing of the people, we all should be careful of those who use religion to control others. It was true then, and it is true today. Humility is a requirement for revelation, and revelation is a requirement for salvation – of eternal life or any other thing.
2 Samuel 15-16
Absalom is the son of David, yet felt rejected by his father after the awareness of his own sin. Even through David forgave Absalom, those father wounds ran deep inside Absalom. He never recovered from his inner turmoil. Instead, he is angry and hardened in his heart against his own father, gathering a nation to join his fight with him against his dad.
There are people who are hardened against God because they hardened their hearts against a parent or other person. Only God can heal these wounds, but it requires their choice to forgive. Bitterness is a root, a cause, of trouble and defilement.
As a pastor, over the years in ministry, I have seen people’s wounds from childhood deter them from working with leadership. There are fears of rejection, there is sometimes difficulty in submission, struggles with identity, and other issues, that if not healed, will prevent a person from every working long term with a leader and keeps these sons and daughters from fulfilling their destiny. As a pastor, even when we try, we know their inner issues are too much for the love and healing we are extending, knowing some wounds go deeper than others. We can only pray God will continue to work on their hearts and hope they will eventually find the restoration they need in Him.
Absalom had also taken David’s concubines as his own. When a man died then, his wife (wives/concubines) would go to the successor or the overcomer. There is nothing more personal or intimate than sexual relationships, and sleeping with his faither’s concubines was a sign of dominance. To the people, it was a sign that David was defeated. Absalom set up a tent and had sexual intercourse with each of David’s partners in front of the people. Rape is an act of violence, and to rape these women in front of others was humiliating and wicked.
Still, David did not want to see harm come to his enemy because Absalom was his son, whom he loved. If we could see each other as family, and we all are family in God, perhaps we would love each other more. Perhaps we would hope the best for one another instead of the worst. Perhaps we would work harder towards resolving conflict and finding solutions.
If someone is lost, we cannot force someone who is in opposition to let go of their offenses and forgive. However, we can come against the spirits that are attached to their offense in Jesus’ name, ask the Lord to send others to speak into their lives, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth. It is their decision whether or not they will believe, trust, and surrender to the Lord. If they do, then He can heal those broken places. Many have been restored. We can do our part, God can do His part, but the ultimate choice is theirs. There is hope!