King of Mercy
Synopsis 2Sam 19:15-24 1/21/2019
The northern tribes decided to restore David as king. As they did, David sent messages to the leaders of Judah. His communications were humble and conciliatory. No longer fearing retribution, the leaders of Judah also accepted David as king.
So, the king began the journey of returning. As he did, the leaders of Judah came to meet him at Gilgal near the Jordan river. In a similar way, many men from the tribe of Benjamin came to greet the returning king.
First among the Benjamites was Shimei, the man who had cursed and taunted the king as he fled Jerusalem. Although Abishai desired to exact retribution against Shimei, David granted him mercy. He recognized that any act of retribution against those who had rebelled could fracture the healing nation.
The King and Mercy
King David put the reconciliation of the nation before the need for justice. This wasn’t an obvious move. Abishai was one of David’s generals. He anticipated that the king would exact vengeance on Shimei. And truthfully, in the absence of any mitigating factors, Shimei’s behavior was clearly criminal and worthy of death in that culture.
But David had mercy. And the reason he chose mercy was to help heal the nation. And, he chose to heal the nation because that was his calling as king.
God chose and anointed King David, for the purpose of leading the united nation of Israel. God had mercy on David despite his despicable behavior with Bathsheba and Uriah the Hittite. So, David had mercy on Shimei because mercy was part of God’s plan.
The King of Mercy
Mercy is about kingdom building. By the grace of God, I have been shown undeserved mercy. I have been saved. And part of my purpose as a Christ-follower is to introduce this possibility into the lives of others. So, I am called not only to receive mercy in the ordinary circumstances, but to offer it as well.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you; it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast.” Eph 2:8-9