2 Samuel 14 is about David forgiving his son Absalom. He’s the one who killed the firstborn son, Amnon.

Absalom has been hiding out for three years.

Joab probably sees Absalom as the rightful heir to the throne now that Amnon is gone and thinks he should be back in Jerusalem. David is unforgiving and unwilling to have Absalom around him.

God uses another story to get through to David, just as He used the story of the loved lamb to show him his sin with Uriah and Bathsheba.

This story comes from an actress that Joab hires to play the part of a widow in danger of losing her last son because he quarreled with her other son and killed him and now some thought the guilty son should be killed as well.

David promises the guilty son will not be harmed. He finally sees through the story and figures out Joab’s plot and tells Joab he can bring Absalom back, but he doesn’t want to see him.

Absalom spends three years away and then another two years in Jerusalem not seeing his father. Finally, David allows him to come see him. Absalom bows at his feet and David kisses him. David loved him.

When Absalom is later killed, David will be devastated. He loves his son.

So, why keep him away for so long? Unforgiveness, like all of our sins, has a part of unreasonableness to it. Sin makes no sense. Unforgiveness makes no sense. It hurts us.

Sin kills us, so unforgiveness is slowly killing us.

It also makes extra no sense for the believer. God forgave us when we had done nothing right, when we were God’s enemies, traitors. He welcomed everyone and offered forgiveness to every last evil man and woman.

God was merciful to us, so we are merciful to others. God forgave us, so we forgive others. God loved us while we were yet sinners, so we can love the sinner as well.

If you have kept someone you love at arms’ length (or farther), reach out and invite them back into your life. May the love of Christ compel you.