Thought from Today’s Old Testament Passage:
Absalom’s prank succeeded in persuading Joab to bring him to his father for reconciliation. Although David’s kiss was a sign of complete reconciliation and restoration of Absalom’s position as the king’s son, it was given reluctantly. The fact that his father did not give him instant, wholehearted forgiveness rankled in his soul.
God had not forgiven David half-heartedly. God did not say, “Well, I forgive you, but we will not have fellowship any more. I will not restore to you the joy of your salvation.” When God forgives, He forgives completely. You and I are admonished: “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Eph. 4:32). Has God forgiven us? Yes! How are we to forgive others? The same way that God does. David should have forgiven Absalom. He is setting the stage for rebellion.
Oh, my friend, our God is a God who forgives. Galatians 6:1 tells us, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” It appears that many of us don’t read that verse correctly. We think it says, “If any man be overtaken in a fault, take a baseball bat and hit him over the head!” We are reluctant to forgive, and we can be very mean at times, very unloving, and critical. There are times when the truth should be spoken, but when forgiveness is asked for, it should be extended immediately.
J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Commentary [computer file], electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson) 1997, ©1981 by J. Vernon McGee.