Absalom’s Long-Haul Grudges

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An image of a grudge: someone reaching out to shake a hand with a dagger in the other hand.

Someone once said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison, expecting the other person to get sick. Today’s Bible reading* tells us about two of Absalom’s long-haul grudges. The first is when Amnon (Absalom’s half-brother) rapes his sister. Absalom stews for two years before killing Amnon.

The next time is when Absalom has been brought to Jerusalem at his father’s request, but doesn’t get to see him for two years. (2 Samuel 14:28) He insists on seeing David. When they are reunited, David embraces his son. For four years Absalom grooms the people to accept him and executes a plan to turn the kingdom away from David. (2 Samuel 15:7)

Absalom knows how to hold a grudge!


Have you been wronged by someone and held a grudge against them? It’s easy to do. Our enemy sends fiery darts into our minds and plants seeds that grow into hatred. The enemy also convinces us that we are right to feel the way we do. We justify our anger. We seethe with anger. If our anger is unchecked, it may turn to hatred, and we may even devise and execute a plan to exact revenge. We like to call it “justice”, but it’s simply revenge.

But God says that vengeance belongs to Him and He is the only one qualified to repay. (Deuteronomy 32:35) In fact, the author of Hebrews quotes that verse from Deuteronomy and adds that, “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. (Hebrews 10:30-31, CSB)


If you’ve been wronged, you must allow God to be God. He alone is qualified to judge and He always judges righteously. We don’t.

I’ve said many times that the first rule of Christian Life 101 is that God is God. The second rule is, You aren’t God. Neither am I. We need to understand that, otherwise, we can become angry and sin. (Psalm 4:4)

* Chapters covered in today’s reading:
2 Samuel 13
2 Samuel 14
2 Samuel 15

This devotional was originally published on May 7, 2021.

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