POISONED 8; The End of the Fuss

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The end in view

Absalom was in favour of the advice Ahithophel gave to destroy David. However, David had already planted his friend, Hushai in Absalom’s team to counter Ahithophel’s deadly pieces of advice. Rightly so, Hushai did a good job convincing Absalom to hold on to Ahithophel’s advice. After that what happened?

“Now when Ahithophel saw that his advice was not followed, he …hanged himself, and died, and he was buried in his father’s tomb.” – 2 Samuel 17:22

I think Ahithophel thought all his counsels would be heeded to, thinking he had the perfect opportunity to exact revenge on David. But the Lord had other ideas. Hushai did a good job countering the advice thereby answering David’s prayer. So it looks like Ahithophel couldn’t stand living another day knowing he couldn’t kill David (he couldn’t exact revenge). So to him, he’d rather die than see David live. His anger, hatred, disappointment, and resentment, all emanating from a bitter heart led him to commit suicide.

God doesn’t support revenge, for he said “…do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord” – Romans 12:17. But the bitter think vengeance is theirs so they try to go for it. Ahithophel tried to go for it and went to the grave.

Absalom’s End

2 Samuel 18 narrates how Absalom died. He waged war against his father. On the day of battle, about two thousand people died, all because of one man’s bitterness that was not dealt with.

Absalom finally died when he tried to flee from David’s soldiers. His head was caught up on a terebinth tree. Joab thrust three spears into his (bitter) heart. He was still struggling for his life when the rest of the men finished the job (killed him).

Absalom is handsome, royal, influential, and religious. Ahithophel was wise, influential and religious. These qualities could not cease them from becoming bitter. They both got offended over something they have the right to be offended about; they dwelt on it for years in the hindsight of the one who offended them. However, the host of the disease is the one who suffers, not the cause of the disease.

Effects of Bitterness

Socially, bitter people tend to have low self-confidence, negative personality shifts and are unable to have meaningful/ healthy relationships.

Mentally, Prof. Michael Linden, a Psychiatrist reveals that bitterness could cause PTED – Post Traumatic Embitterment Disorder. This mental disorder sometimes has similar symptoms to PTSD. I suggest you read more on it to better understand.

The medical implications of bitterness range from ineffective metabolism, poor immune responses and organ functions, to some physical diseases.

The Root and the Grace

“...looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled” – Hebrews 12:15

Remember, the root of every bitterness is an offence. It becomes a poison you drink, expecting the other person who offended you to be hurt. The universe doesn’t work that way. The end of bitterness is bitter, you do not want to taste it.

When you fall short of God’s grace because you harbour offences, anger, and hatred in you, you experience surprising deficiencies in the quality of your life and your relationship with God.

I have heard people suffer heart diseases because they were bitter, and I have seen someone struggle with dark spots and other skin diseases because of bitterness. I cannot explain it medically but I know that when this person finally let go of the offences, all these problems miraculously ended.

You bring a lot of trouble to yourself and others when you harbour bitterness. You can embitter others against the one who offended you, setting them also up for destruction. Unfortunately, some mothers do well with this. They can make their children hate their father the same way she does because of a marital problem. You can destroy your relationships, break bridges and be found wanting because you harbour bitterness.

• Start praying to God to help you. It’s not going to be easy to let go, but that’s the way to go.
•Speak with the one who offended you about how you feel about the offence.
• Talk to someone who can help you forgive, and keep trusting God to free you from bitterness. Once you have the will, He will help you find a way.

Let the ‘Omni-strategic’ God use the offences to create something good for you.

Remember, forgiveness is yours, and vengeance is the Lord’s.

May the Lord mend our nets!

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