The Art of Repentance
2 Samuel 19:14-20
Verse 14 He won over the hearts of the men of Judah so that they were all of one mind. They sent word to the king, “Return, you and all your men.”
The king’s messages to his people worked and they sent word for him to return to Jerusalem and the throne of the people of Israel. They wanted King David back and that must have done the king’s heart good. Another dose of soothing his broken heart after the death of his son. And not only did they want the king to return, they were wanting all the men with him to return as well. They were showing they wanted to reconcile the nation.
The men from Judah decided it wasn’t enough to tell the king they wanted him back, they decided to show him by meeting him and helping him cross the river as he returned. That kind of greeting would have eased the king’s mind as well as those with him. It would show true intent of reconciling not a ploy to bring the king and his men into battle on the home front. It was almost like they were awaiting a parade. This must have brought joy to all those returning with David.
Among those who came to the Jordan to meet the king were a few who needed to seek a more personal reconnection with the king. One of these men was Shimei. If you remember right this was the man who had come out of the village of Bahurim and started cursing David and throwing rocks at him as the king left Jerusalem running away from Absalom. This man had bothered the men but if you’ll recall David told his men not to rebuke the man because he may be speaking for God.
Shimei was not coming out to continue his rampage against the king, quite the opposite in fact. This relative of King Saul wasn’t coming in the hateful pride he had come in the first time, he is now humble in attitude and posture. And he didn’t come alone, he had a thousand fellow Benjamites with him, including Ziba, the former servant of Saul whom David had once put in place as Mephibosheth’s servant until he told David that Mephibosheth had stayed in Jerusalem to try to regain his proper place on the throne of Saul.
Shimei begged for the king’s mercy pointing out to David how sinful he was in his previous actions. He also reminds the king he was the first of the tribe of Benjamin to return to David. He was pleading for the life of him and his family. His repentance was sincere and hoped the king understood it to be so.
Making It Personal
Have you ever had to repent of a way you wrongly treated someone? How did you know you needed to repent? How did the experience influence your understanding of your need to repent to God?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever done something and knew you had to go to the other person and tell them you knew you had done wrong to them? Why would it be important to tell them? Is it important to tell Jesus when you have done something He wouldn’t like?
Father, we too often act rashly, acting upon our own emotions and later realize we were not only acting sinfully but were hurting others in the process. Help us be more discerning in our thinking before we act and give us the wisdom to act as You would have us act. In Jesus’ name, amen.