Chokers and Leeches

Written by cycleguy on June 2nd, 2010

Have you ever taken the time to read  the two books of Samuel?  I have been reading the OneYearBible (ESV) and lately the reading has been in 2 Samuel.  In my reading today I ran across an interesting section.  I want to give you a recap first and then hopefully make my point.

Absalom was David’s son.  Rebellious son would be more appropriate.  Actually, Absalom had been banished from David’s presence because he sought revenge for the rape of his sister, Tamar, by his half-brother Amnon.  Three years later Joab intervened and encouraged David to bring Absalom back to Jerusalem.  Even after being allowed back into Jerusalem, he went two full years without seeing his father.  Again Joab intervened with David and he restored Absalom to his place in the kingdom. But Absalom was a conspirator and used his position to gain approval of the people and to eventually challenge his father.  David fled Jerusalem (I still wonder why though since he was the king and a mighty warrior).  It is here that several scenes take place that I find intriguing.

Scene #1: Ziba (not Ziva) lies to David. Ziba is Mephibosheth’s (M from here on) servant.  M was Jonathan’s son whom David has given full rights to his presence and also all the land that had been his father’s and grandfather’s.  (See chapter 9).  M was crippled so Ziba took advantage of that and lied to David about M’s whereabouts.

Scene #2: As David flees, Shimei meets him along the way and begins to rain down curses and stones upon David.  Shimei is from the house of Saul and  obviously holds resentment towards David.  When those with David desire and offer to “take care of” Shimei, David would not allow it.

Fast forward to Scene #3: Absalom is killed by Joab (that’s a whole ‘nother story) and David returns to Jerusalem.  One of the first to meet him is none other than Shimei.  Yeah, the rock-throwing, cursing dude.  He falls before David asking forgiveness for his previous actions.  I am not naive enough to think that he feared for his life.  But at the same time I am struck by David’s response: he pardons him!

Scene #4: M appears before David.  I suspect David was heart-broken when he was told about M’s lack of sympathy for and loyalty to him, especially after all David had done for him.  When he appears before David, M is a mess!  (see 2 Sam.19:24)  Despite his hurt (and anger?) David allows for an explanation and M explains that Ziba lied to him and to David.  Again: David pardons him!

Do you catch a wave here?  Do you see David’s generosity?  Do you see his capacity to forgive?  Do you see his willingness to overlook obvious offenses to move on with life?  Forgiveness is not never easy, especially when the hurt strikes to the depth of our soul and seems to never let go.  Maybe David was the forgiver he was because he himself had been the recipient of God’s forgiveness.  Can we do any less?  What about you?  Someone you need to forgive who has you tied up in knots?  Is there someone who seems to have you in a choke hold and is strangling the life out of you?  Is there someone who is like a leech sucking the life out of you?  Please…for your sake and for the sake of those who love you…let it go!  Learn from David.  Learn from Jesus.  Any thoughts you care to express?


24 Comments so far ↓

  1. Jim F. says:

    Because of life circumstance I have been dealing with forgiveness a lot over the last year plus. It is a hard thing sometimes but needed for me and not the person that needs forgiveness.

    I think of two things that James MacDonald said a couple of weeks ago.

    1) Pastors should be professional forgivers.

    When we do not forgive we become bitter which leads to number 2

    2) Bitterness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

    Good job summarizing the story and well needed thoughts for me.

  2. *~Michelle~* says:

    Bill, sometimes you scare me because you are speaking directly to what is going on in my heart. Almost creepy. HA!

    Just kidding…but you do seem to have the perfect words for this gal at just the right time.

    I struggle with forgiveness (more of “a leech sucking the life out of you”) and unfortunately this person is someone in my family that I am unable to distance myself from. It also bring about guilt from feeling this way, which brings depressive thoughts. So the letting go has to start/be in my heart. And I know that God is the only One who can bring peace from within. Something I pray about often.

    Great post!

  3. cycleguy says:

    Jim: thanks for sharing your thoughts especially using James Mac’s. I missed them if he posted that. maybe need to go back and look at his again. Those are fantastic! Praying for you in this matter (will know more of what to pray for every day now also). 🙂

  4. cycleguy says:

    Michelle: “This is big brother calling you.” 😀 Ain’t it funny how God operates? It is never easy to forgive, especially when it is your own family. UGH! Praying for your peace and resolve. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  5. *~Michelle~* says:

    Oh no! “Big Brother”!!!!

    Don’t get me started my conspiracy theories!

  6. cycleguy says:

    Michelle: 😀 That ought to be interesting.

  7. Michael says:

    Jim, we should be professional forgivers…love that thought…

    It seems that some have been in my head lately. Bill, thank you for ministering to me today.

  8. cycleguy says:

    Michael: you’re welcome. Just returned the favor for the many times you have done so to me. Agreed on the professional forgivers also.

  9. Jim F. says:

    Bill – The thoughts came when I heard Jimmy Mac (bet he would love that nick name) live at The White Board Sessions a couple of weeks ago.

  10. Interesting. There are some wild stories in the Bible. I’ve never learned, though, how to read them just for “pleasure” like I do a novel. I can’t relax that much while reading the Bible.

  11. cycleguy says:

    Oh man Jim the song that came to my head just now: “Jimmy Mac when are you coming back.” Bet he would love that too! 😀 Thanks for getting back to me.

  12. cycleguy says:

    Bernard: you are right. Lots of wild stories in the bible. Sometimes I just like to read the Bible as a story or a novel. Takes the edge/pressure off. Hope you are doing well.

  13. Ike says:

    Commenting on Luke 17:3 (“If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him”), John Stott, Confess Your Sins: The Way of Reconciliation, page 35, writes:

    “We are to rebuke a brother if he sins against us; we are to forgive him if he repents — and only if he repents. We must beware of cheapening forgiveness. . . . If a brother who has sinned against us refuses to repent, we should not forgive him. Does this startle you? It is what Jesus taught. . . . ‘Forgiveness’ includes restoration to fellowship. If we can restore to full and intimate fellowship with ourselves a sinning and unrepentant brother, we reveal not the depth of our love but its shallowness.”

  14. Janna says:

    I wonder though as David is pardoning those who have done him wrong, what David was thinking. We know that David had Uriah killed because he had slept with Bathsheba and she was to have his baby. It states at the end of the reading(2 Sam. 11:27), that what David did displeased the Lord. The Lord forgave David for his indiscretion, so as I read this I wonder if David thinks about that. David knows that God showed him Grace by forgiving him, so David is just showing Grace to M and Joab.

  15. Jeff says:

    I think forgiveness really involves two actions or reactions. I agree with Ike in that forgiveness cannot really be given unless and until the transgressor says he is sorry and asks that you bury the hatchet. Same as sinned against you and refuses to repent although I prefer phraseology of more current time. It may have not even been a sin, just a lack of communication or understanding.
    My point is you need to ready your heart and clear your mind to accept the apology and the burying of the hatchet. But you can’t really forgive someone until they ask you to. In the meantime don’t let it infrct your heart and mind.

  16. Ike says:

    BTW pastor…you and Tony sent my Phillies right outta first place:-(

  17. cycleguy says:

    Ike: I appreciate your (Stott’s) thoughts on this. I respectfully disagree though in that I am to come to the place of offering forgiveness, whether they want it or not. At least in my heart and from my perspective. They may never accept it but at least I am free.

  18. cycleguy says:

    Jeff: I see your point and respect it. I tend to disagree (as I stated to Ike) however, i do strongly feel you hit on the real key in your very last sentence. The unwillingness to forgive can/will eat a person alive. Feel free to kick in some more or anyone else for that matter.

  19. cycleguy says:

    Janna: You have stated my point even better than I did. My thoughts were stated like this: “Maybe David was the forgiver he was because he himself had been the recipient of God’s forgiveness.” I have absolutely no doubt that what you state is true-David remembers how God was gracious to him. Well put my daughter. 🙂 (I would like to say I taught you well but you learned that on your own) LOL

  20. cycleguy says:

    Ike: Sorry! (just ducked a lightning bolt). 😀

  21. Robin Rane' says:

    Oh my goodness…YES! My baby daughter’s “boy-friend”…I’ve never felt quite like this about anyone …I pray every day for him and his family and choose to walk in forgiveness. One day my feelings will follow…whew, good one

  22. cycleguy says:

    Deciding to walk in forgiveness Robin is the first step. Craig Groeschel’s newest book has a great chapter on that. I will continue to pray for you. Thanks for the kind words also.

  23. Linda M says:

    Hi Cycleguy,
    I agree with you. If an offence or an act from someone else continues to surface in our mind and then our emotions we need to consciously look for a way to deal with this to end our focus on it.

    I think most often this involves talking to the other person and speaking about our regret that our mind is thinkinbg this way. We ask for forgiveness for this behaviour on our own part. I think this may help the other person to respond with their desire that their behavior or words toward us were forgiven also.

    If this doesn’t work well, another possible way I think is to bring the matter before God and declare to Him to release the offender and not hold this person responsible for their actions. This is Biblical as it is what Jesus did on the cross and what Stephen in Acts did when he was stoned.

    At first we may do this to save our own lives from danger. I think if we harbor ill feelings and feed our minds with undealt with resentment etc. we could be in danger of being receptive to an evil spirit. The Bible says the devil wanders the earth looking for someone to devour. We need to resist against the devil by being doers of the Word of God. The days are becoming more perilous to Christians in our day. We need to get our minds and thinking under the authority and safety of God’s word.

  24. cycleguy says:

    Linda: good points you make. No question that not having a forgiving spirit is opening the door-“giving the enemy a foothold”-is how Ephesians describes it. Thanks for the comment.