King David continues to be reacquainted with the people of the land. Just a few chapters ago (Chapter 16), we read of encounters with Ziba and Shimei. You may recall that Shimei was previously harassing David as he left Jerusalem, jeering and throwing rocks at him. Now the same man is welcoming David home.
It appears David did not hold a grudge against this man. Shimei had to believe that David would be seeking revenge for his past disrespectful behavior. We see Shimei bowing down, crying out, “My lord the king, please forgive me.”
What is happening here? I feel like I jumped into the second
season of a show and I have no idea what all the references mean. Let’s not let
ourselves get stuck on that. When we remember that this is a letter from Paul
to his friends in Corinth that he has had an ongoing relationship with, there
are bound to be situations we are just not privy to. It doesn’t matter. We can glean
a lot from what is unsaid as well.
We can gather there was a person in their midst wreaking havoc and causing all sorts of problems. Paul had counseled them previously on how to handle his, and it appears they listened. When we are being tossed around by someone who is harming us or influencing us in a negative way, we need to rid ourselves of that temptation to sin lest we fall into the hands of the evil one, too. But what is Paul saying to do now? Forgive.
Isn’t reading all of this wisdom good for the soul? Be sure
to take time to really wrestle with each proverb. There are only a handful to
reflect on each day. Again, I am torn for which one to focus on today. As a grandma,
I do agree that grandchildren are our crowning glory. All the trials and
tribulations that go with parenting seem to be rewarded when the grandchildren
come along. And, the one that spoke of acquitting the guilty also spoke to the
paralegal in me who prepared a number of cases for trial.
Verse 9 is the one I chose for today, and it says, “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” Forgiveness is a powerful act. It releases us from bondage. Many times, we hold on to something that has happened to us, and it can make us bitter. We let it play over and over in our heads. Meanwhile, the other(s) involved are totally unaffected and may not even remember the event in the first place. Holding on to hurts is hurting us more than the person who hurts us, don’t you agree?
I love it when Jesus uses parables to convey his intention or direction for our lives. This one is really something. After talking about how to handle it when someone sins against us in our last text , Peter rightfully asks the question, “How many times should we forgive?”
What was Jesus response? 70×7. 490 times! I’m not sure who would even keep track. That was just a crazy amount to show us we need to forgive. Period. We shouldn’t try to quantify it or keep score. Then Jesus told the story.