November 23, 2009
READ: 2 Samuel 18:31–19:4
The king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. —2 Samuel 18:33
In the 1980s, the British band Mike and the Mechanics recorded a powerful song titled, “The Living Years.” The songwriter mourns his father’s death, because their relationship had been strained and marked by silence rather than sharing. The singer remorsefully says, “I didn’t get to tell him all the things I had to say.” Struggling with regret over words unsaid and love unexpressed, he laments, “I just wish I could have told him in the living years.”
King David similarly regretted his broken relationship with his son Absalom. Angered over David’s refusal to punish Amnon for raping his sister Tamar, Absalom killed Amnon and fled (2 Sam. 13:21-34). David’s servant Joab knew that he longed to go to his fugitive son, so he arranged for Absalom to be brought to him. But their relationship was never the same again. Absalom’s bitterness sparked a conflict that ended with his death (18:14). It was a bitter victory for King David, causing him to lament his lost son and their failed relationship (18:33). No amount of grieving, however, could undo David’s heartache.
We can learn from David’s regret when dealing with broken relationships. The pain of trying to make things right can be hard. But it’s much better to do what we can to make things right “in the living years.” — Bill Crowder
For Further Study
Do you have a strained relationship with someone?
For help, read on the Internet What Do You Do With A Broken Relationship? at www.discoveryseries.org/q0703
A broken relationship can be repaired— but only if you’re willing to try.