“Don’t remember the wrong your servant did”
Let us stay for a moment by the Bible text we read yesterday.
20 For thy servant doth know that I have sinned: therefore, behold, I am come this day the first of all the house of Joseph to go down to meet my lord the king.
(2 Samuel 19:20 ASV)
I Have Sinned: There is a radical distinction between natural regret and God-given repentance. The flesh can feel remorse, acknowledge its evil deeds, and be ashamed of itself. However, this sort of disgust with past actions can be quickly shrugged off, and the individual can soon go back to his old wicked ways.
None of the marks of true repentance described in 2Co 7:11 are found in his behavior. Out of a list of 11 men in the Bible who said,
“I have sinned,”
poss only five actually repented. They were David (2Sa 12:13; 24:10; 1Ch 21:8; Psa 41:4), Nehemiah (Neh 1:6), Job (Job 42:5,6), Micah (Mic 7:9), and the prodigal son (Luk 15:18). The other (poss less sincere) instances? Pharaoh in Exo 9:27; 10:16; Balaam in Num 22:34; Achan in Jos 7:20; Saul in 1Sa 15:24,30; 26:21; Shimei in 2Sa 19:20; Judas in Mat 27:4.
We must know we have to bear the consequences of what we did wrong. Even when we regret what we did we can not turn back the clock. In today’s reading we also see that when we do something wrong it can have repercussions to next generations as well.
When David enquired of God as to why Israel was experiencing it’s third year of famine, Jehovah said,
“It is on account of Saul and his blood stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death.” (2Sam 21:1)
In the bible we also do find many cases were famine came over the people as a punishment of God for what they had done wrong. (e.g., 24:13; Deut. 32:24; 2 Kin. 8:1; Ps. 105:16; Is. 14:30; Jer. 11:22; Ezek. 14:21; Rev. 6:8).
The the famine talked about in todays chapter 21 should be placed about the time that Mephibosheth came to David’s court (v. 7; ch. 9) and before Absalom’s rebellion (16:5), but this is uncertain.
(on Saul and on his house. Saul had tried to annihilate the Gibeonites (v. 2; 4:3), though obviously with only partial success.)
As we can see from our daily readings, the past can not be forgotten. Old sins na not be put to lie dead and buried. The famine that God called on the land highlighted the fact that Saul’s actions needed to be put right even after 30 years or more.
Do we have past sins that need to be put right?
They may have happened long, long ago, but if they are still causing grief to others, we need to take steps to put them right.
Once the Gibeonites had been appeased, the famine was relieved.
Just because things happened long ago, let’s not hide them under the carpet and hope they will go away. Instead let’s deal with them like David did so we can get on with life unhindered by the past.