A lot happened in this chapter, but we have limited time, so I’m going to focus on verses 15-23.
Here, King David is on his way back to Jerusalem and comes to the Jordan River, when he is met by both Simei and Ziba. Remember them?
Shimei was the man who threw rocks at David and his men and cursed him. Joab had wanted to kill him, but David told him that Shimei was doing what the Lord told him to do.
And Ziba had been Mephibosheth’s servant, had lied to David in telling him that Mephibosheth had switched sides and supported Absalom, and been given all of Mephibosheth’s property by David as a result of that lie.
And now, they both come to the river to meet David, anxious to ask forgiveness.
Abishai, Joab’s brother and one of the military commanders, wanted to kill Shimei then and there, but David said, “Abishai, what am I going to do you with you and your brother? Is it your job to tell me who had done wrong? I’ve been made king of all Israel today, and no one will be put to death!”
One of the privileges of a king is to forgive. This was not a day for retribution but for celebration and mending fences.
Also, David had just experienced a wonderful display of God’s grace in the returning of the kingdom to him, the kingdom he lost as a direct result of his sin, and so he was inclined to show grace to Shimei.
And this is a lesson to us. Our human bent is to get back at those who wrong us, but how can we who have received so much grace from God withhold grace? Jesus even said that if want the Father to forgive you, you must forgive others. This is just one more exercise of faith that we are called to do.
What do you think?