A person intent on revenge is likely to do something he will later regret. Or, if he never acts, he will gradually become bitter, hateful, and very unhappy.

Ahithophel is a prime example. He had been a close advisor and companion to King David. But he joined Absalom when the young man decided to oust his father from the throne.

Why? It is probable that Bathsheba, the young woman King David had taken advantage of, was Ahithophel’s granddaughter (2 Sam. 11:3; 23:34). If so, he had a right to be angry with the king! Vengeful feelings grew strong within him. When the opportunity came, he rushed to Absalom and told him how to take over the throne. Absalom, though, rejected his counsel. In despair, Ahithophel committed suicide (17:23).

It could have been so different. If only Ahithophel had talked to God about his anger and then spoken to David. He would have heard the king’s sorrow over his sin (Ps. 32; 51). He could have forgiven David and remained his friend. He could have shown us how to handle anger.

Let’s learn from his negative example to reject the idea of revenge and instead take the path of loving confrontation and ready forgiveness.