Let us pick up in 2nd Samuel chapter 19 verse 19 which is where we left off in the last post as we are talking about forgivingness. This guy Shimei who has done some pretty bad things to David in the past has come to him and is seeking forgiveness.
Let us look on to verse 19: 19 So he said to the king, “Let not my lord consider me guilty, nor remember what your servant did wrong on the day when my lord the king came out from Jerusalem, so that the king would take it to heart. 20 For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore behold, I have come today, the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.”
What we see here is that Shimei has a three-fold plea to present to the king: do not hold me guilty, do not remember and as a matter of fact, put it completely out of your mind. Think about it, those are exactly the same three things we want from the Lord when we come to Him with our sin. We say, Lord, do not hold me guilty, or in other words, forgive me for what I have done. We say Lord, do not remember it or please forget what I have done. And we say Lord; put it out of Your mind, so I can be free me for the future to live differently. When you really think about it, these are exactly the things we get from the Lord. God forgives so we can push forward and make a difference in life for Him! Let us forgive freely!
Here is what we do though: we allow the evil one to bring the garbage back in our lives and render us ineffective. When the past, quarrels with the present, there is no future – you are stuck. Forget the past failures so that you can have a future! Paul tells us in Philippians to forget the things in the past! You have been freed so get on with the rest of your life, and realize that God in His marvelous grace is has forgiven you! So experience the forgiveness that is there. We need to be like Shimei saying, “Please forgive, forget, and free me for the future.” God will do it – if you ask with a repentant heart – He will free you!
We see here that Shimei does acknowledge his sin. Part of being forgiven is the acknowledgment of our sin. If you are too prideful to acknowledge your sin then you will be too prideful to gain the forgiveness you desperately seek and the peace that comes with it.
Why does he say the “house of Joseph”? Joseph was a great forgiver, because remember that his brothers sold him into Egypt as a slave. They thought they were going to really get it from Joseph when years later they realized that he was alive had the power to save their lives. What did Joseph say when he was asked about what happened at all those years earlier? “You thought up evil against me, God meant it for good to bring about the saving of many people today.” He is using Joseph to plead for forgiveness. Shimei desires forgiveness for what he has done.
Some people have a better capacity to forgive than others – how is yours? What are some things that keep you from forgiving others?