Abner called out to Joab, “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize that this will end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop pursuing their fellow Israelites?” 2 Samuel 2:26
Fights among some family members have often gone on for several decades over some issue when they were young. People hold on to a past hurt and continue to strive to harm the other person in any way possible refusing to let go of the hurt. This occurs in and outside of families. Both sides of the issue refusing to stop the fighting.
Joab and his army were pursuing Abner and his army to kill them. Abner asks if the sword must continue to devour and that it will only end in bitterness. Then he asks for the end to the fighting.
In the same way that the world pursues harming others, many in the church fall into the same pit. Some will continue to pursue another to bring them down and conquer at any cost. There is no stopping in the chase.
After some time, some will succeed in getting their revenge and then all they feel is bitterness and resentment. Pain and death are all that is left, rather than healing and life. Not always is it physical death, but death of relationships and community.
Believers need to be willing to call off the fight, to stop pursuing revenge. Just as Christ forgave all sins, believers need to be willing to forgive and let the past wrongs go. They are called to be ministers of reconciliation, rather than ministers of destruction, division and death as the world does.
Satan seeks to devour, kill and destroy all relationships in any way possible. Christ wants to redeem and restore life and end the sword from devouring forever.
Have you been hurt in the past and are seeking to harm the one who harmed you? This can be with another family member or anyone else.
Instead of seeking to use the sword against that person, choose to forgive and reconcile the relationship. All that revenge will do is bring about bitterness and death in the end. There will be no true satisfaction or life experienced.
Allow God to change your heart as you remember and understand what Jesus did for you in forgiving your sins against Him. Stop the pursuit of death and destruction.
Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will allow God to guide you in restoring broken relationships; that you will seek to forgive others as Jesus forgave you; and that you will follow the ministry of reconciliation that God is calling you to do.