Tuesday, May 30, 2017

MAY 29 "MERCY ON YOUR FAMILY"

The lesson is proven here that we are often much harder on our own family and loved ones; than we would be with strangers. David has no problem having empathy towards this man and this situation which is being brought before him by the woman of Tekoa (which we know is Joab in disguise). This is very wise on Joab’s part to realize that David would not be this harsh in a normal situation. As David hears the story he is able to quickly discern, “the punishment has gone to far”.  This is a lesson not just for David to learn, but also you and I. Compassion and mercy we would offer to others, often is not given to our own family members. We hold grudges for years for offenses that we would have told others, “they must forgive and let go”.  Joab is able to bring out of David, that he knows right from wrong, but Joab allows David to see, that though he may know right from wrong, he’s not exercising it with his own son, Absalom. The mercy and grace we show with others, is often not the mercy and grace we show with our husbands, or our wives, or our children or other siblings. Why is that?  You would think the ones we love would be the greatest benefactors of our love, of our grace, of our mercy and compassion, but often they are not. Joab masterfully brings this to David’s attention and David says, “guilty as charged”.  “But that is not what God desires; rather, he devises ways so that a banished person does not remain banished from him.”   This cannot be Joab speaking, but God speaking through him, this is too deep for Joab. This idea spills into the New Testament. I think of where Paul writes the Corinthian Church challenging to expunge the fornicator from among them; but later he has to write the Corinthian Church back and now challenge to let him back in, enough is enough. Banishment with God is never to be permanent, while we have breath in our lungs. Does banishment have it’s due place, of course, but as Christians the end goal is always redemption, not simply banishment to fuel our anger and bitterness.  Have you banished family from your life because of the sins, the offenses they have committed and do you do so with righteousness zeal about it and about yourself?  Perhaps, now God would say, “what once was a righteous judgment is now become unrighteous, because the time has passed and you still will not welcome them back, you still have no heart for redemption but only punishment. “But what if they hurt me or do it again?”  That’s not for you to know and it’s not for you to base your decision, our job is to do right.  We know that Absalom will eventually turn against David and we know that Absalom eventually gets what’s coming to him, but the important thing is that David was able to say with a clear conscience, I did right before my God and God saw and God was well pleased. 
ght before my God and God saw and God was well pleased.