The mass executions of unacceptables during the French Reign of Terror left antagonisms felt generations later. To this day citizens of Lyon speak coldly of Paris and Parisians.
Grievances, then, both perceived or real, can damage relationships for years, making Restoration difficult and Reconciliation incomplete. David discovered that when confronting Absalom’s murder of Amnon. The king never successfully resolved his struggle between parental affection and the nation’s welfare.
He also failed to realize that healing broken fellowships between estranged people must emphasize reconciliation, not mere restoration. This is seen in two mistakes the king made.
First, he reluctantly invited Absalom back. In the two years since Amnon’s murder, David waffled between affection for Absalom and disgust with his reprehensible crime. For Joab finally took the initiative to bring the young wastrel home.
Then, after inviting him back, David refused to see him. Again, he offered Absalom restoration, but made no attempt to reconcile with him.
Second, he made no effort to personally meet with his corrupt son. That left Absalom to endure months of enforced inactivity. Denied participation in politics, he spent the time fawning over himself.
But, communing with himself did nothing to teach him his limitations. Effort alone could do that. It has a sovereign way of humbling us. With his skills and giftedness all theoretical, Absalom felt himself supreme as a Bengal tiger in a chicken coop.
Even to being arrogant enough to demand—not request—and audience with the king. Where his colossal egotism challenged the king to prove him wrong. “If” I am guilty of anything—he said...IF! He had thoroughly deceived himself that he had been the sinned against, not the sinner! End Part I