In some of the previous posts we were looking at 2nd Samuel 19 and due to a busy schedule and some other life events I was unable to get back to it for a few weeks but now let us check out where we left off. Please look with me at 2nd Samuel 19, starting in verse 16 we will discover how David is going to deal with some people from his past that show up: 16 Then Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjamite who was from Bahurim, hurried and came down with the men of Judah to meet King David.
I do not know if anyone remembers or knows who this guy Shimei is but he is the guy back in 2nd Samuel chapter 16 that came out and was throwing rocks, cursing, and kicking dirt at David when David was on the run for his life. He is the guy who claimed that David was a worthless man and a man of bloodshed. Shimei could easily had lost his life that day because David’s man Abishai wanted to kill him but David let him live. Even after that Shimei followed him for quite a ways throwing rocks, throwing insults, and kicking dirt on David and his men. He is quite the character and he is back to see David.
Let us look on: 17 There were a thousand men of Benjamin with him, with Ziba the servant of the house of Saul, and his fifteen sons and his twenty servants with him; and they rushed to the Jordan before the king.
What we see is that Shimei is not alone when he comes and when he comes he is rushing to see the king because he needs to make things right. He does not come alone because he is probably afraid of what will happen when he sees the king. So who does he bring along? Ziba who is another character from David’s past. Ziba is Saul’s servant that was responsible to Mephibosheth, the handicapped son of Jonathan, who was eating at the king David’s table. This guy Ziba was also responsible to farm all of Saul’s land for Mephibosheth. When we last saw Ziba, he had come with a great gift for David when he was on the run for his life. As a result of this gift, David gives all the land to Ziba that he was farming for Mephibosheth because Ziba lied about Mephibosheth by saying that “He is staying back in Jerusalem hoping to get to become king.” So you have Shimei and Ziba showing up to see the king but it is really Shimei who really needs to see the king because of what has happened in the past.
So what do we see that happens: 18 Then they kept crossing the ford to bring over the king’s household, and to do what was good in his sight. And Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king as he was about to cross the Jordan.
What we see that happens here is that Shimei gets over on the east bank of the river and he fell prostrate before the king. He is preparing himself to cry out for mercy, grace, and forgiveness because of his past interaction with David.
Here is a key point that I want you to see and that is the power of forgiveness and the ability to forgive – although not perfectly as I will talk about in a later post – but what you will see is forgiveness – an example for all of us. You see the Bible is a whole book on forgiveness. We are called in the pages of the Bible again and again to forgive because we have been forgiven. So today is a challenge to all to forgive others. What we need to see and realize is the freedom that comes to us when we forgive others.
What happens to a person when they do not forgive? As I see it, it creates a spiral downward in their life. This spiral works for not forgiving others or self. First there is the offense. If it is not forgiven, then resentment builds up. This will then festers until you get hatred and that will quickly develop into a grudge. This will then finally lead you to be eaten up with the thoughts of revenge which will make you a miserable person on the inside and on the outside. Failure to forgive others and yourself creates a cancer that will eat away at your soul and will change you into a bitter, mean, and hateful person that people will not want to be around. When you live this way, you always play into the hand of the devil, anytime that you delay forgiveness and forgiving someone, including self, you play into the hand of the devil. Is this the way you wish to live – a bitter, mean, or angry person that no one really wants to be around? If not then you need to start forgiving freely!
Now there are three types of forgiveness that all fall short of the forgiveness that is described in the Bible. First of all, there is conditional forgiveness – I’ll forgive you but don’t you dare ever do it again or I will take my forgiveness away. Then there is partial forgiveness – I forgive you but don’t think I’ll ever forget it. Then the third one is delayed forgiveness – I will forgive you someday but it hurts too much to do it now but I will forgive you someday. Here is the thing; all of these types fall short of the forgiveness that the Bible teaches. God expects of us that we forgive, we forget, and we free the offender.
Here is the truth with that and that is we almost always fall short of biblical forgiveness but that should never keep it from being the goal we go hard after. We need to be seeking to forgive and forgive fully and completely.
Any thoughts on forgiveness today? Any thoughts on what I have posted?