I love stories of forgiveness, especially when the forgiveness is not deserved. I often need that myself in my relationship with others; my wife, my friends, my co-workers, my church members… etc.

Undeserved forgiveness is called “grace.” David was good at it. I think that’s because he understood his own fallibility. I’m not sure what would have happened to Shimei if the event recorded in 2nd Samuel happened before David’s personal failure. David was a pretty righteous dude who focused on justice. When Nathan presented the case of the poor neighbor whose little lamb was butchered by the rich neighbor, David demanded justice. But after repenting of his own sin, he seems to have become more gracious.

Shimei cursed David and threw rocks and dirt at him as he fled from his son Absalom. Now, in Chapter 19, David is restored as the King and Shimei has to face the fact that he’d put his eggs in the wrong basket. (An Easter pun!). So as David is returning to Jerusalem to resume his reign, Shimei approaches him in 19:19 of 2nd Samuel and says, “May the Lord King please forgive me.” David’s servants wanted to kill him for what he had done, because they had remained faithful to David during the hard times. They saw themselves as righteous. David didn’t think of himself that way anymore. In 19:22 David says not to take revenge, “this is not a day of execution but a day of celebration.”

That’s a good point to remember when facing a decision of forgiveness. Make it a day of celebration.