May 28

Written by Bill Grandi on May 28th, 2019

My title is Belligerent vs. Favorable.

Question: What do you you when someone whom you thought was a friend turns against you then comes back seeking “reinstatement?”

Question: What do you do when someone curses you and says all kinds of not-so-nice stuff against you then comes crawling back asking for understanding and forgiveness?

I read about those types of situations this morning. In 2 Samuel 19, following the death of Absalom, a cast of characters comes to the stage.

  • Joab confronts David about his mourning over Absalom’s death. His confrontation dealt with David’s mourning taking the victory away from his followers.
  • Then there is Shimei. When David returns to Jerusalem he comes to David seeking understanding. When David was leaving Jerusalem, Shimei, who was from the tribe of Saul, cursed him (2 Samuel 16).  He called him a worthless man. It was obvious he still carried a torch of anger for David.
  • Another who came was Mephibosheth (M).
  • Then there is Barzillai.
  • Finally, in my reading today, there was Sheba.

Shimei comes to David asking for and receiving forgiveness for his insolence (19:16-23).

M comes to David a mess. He had not taken care of his feet, trimmed his beard or washed his clothes. Ziba, his servant, had brought food to David as he was fleeing Jerusalem. David had to have been hurt that M didn’t come with Ziba. In this talk with David he explains that Ziba took off and left him behind and when David understood the situation, he forgave him. He gave Ziba half of M’s land but M was so happy David had returned and understood his predicament that he gave all the land to Ziba.

Barzillai is a great story which I highly recommend you read (2 Sam. 19:31-40).  Funny, I have read the OT several times and never remember reading this story before. Hmmmm.

Finally, Sheba.  He was unlike the others. He was a belligerent man. He spoke against David and rallied the people of Israel against him. He took his party and withdrew from David’s leadership.  He chose to rebel. David send Amasa (his new commander of the army) after him but Joab kills Amasa then pursues Sheba. While laying siege against a city Sheba has taken refuge in, one of the women makes a deal with Joab to bring Sheba’s head. The deal? if she brought Sheba’s head Joab would stop laying siege. It was done.

“Whew! Father, so much drama. So much happening as a result of David’s failure to handle Absalom’s rebellion. David did show a huge heart to Shimei and M. His appreciation for Barzillai is a lesson in humility and gratitude. May I be as magnanimous with others as David was to this cast of character.”


3 Comments so far ↓

  1. Ryan S. says:

    I don’t believe I have had the opportunity to test either of the situations you listed. I have had friends “turn against me” in some form or fashion, but not seek reinstatement as you mention.

    Perhaps I have had people say not so nice things about me. Some of it maybe even true.

    Not sure what my response would be. Not sure how I would react. Thinking of the wrongs that have been done, I have forgiven, but perhaps I would still carry some of the baggage with me. Probably baggage I need to learn to leave behind.

  2. Glynn says:

    We’re told to forgive – 70 times 7. Forgiveness is necessary for restoration. It doesn’t mean “be a doormat,” but I think the emphasis has to be on restoration. David mourned Absalom for the loss of a son and for the fact that restoration was no longer possible. I suspect David would have forgiven Absalom.

  3. floyd says:

    This is a good reminder of how one decision can effect so much and so many.

    I need to ponder this one a bit…