The text this morning got me asking how justifiable the sentences pronounced on these men were: Abiathar, Joab and Shimei, were people who had some dealings with King David. David asked his son Solomon to ensure that Joab and Shimei, did not go unpunished. Now Abiathar is included.
Joab was David’s nephew. He helped him establish his kingdom. He fought along side him through thick and thin. He even did his dirty job of killing Uriah for him. He defeated Absalom who committed treason against David. His crime: he murdered two men in cold blood just to eliminate any threats to his position as the captain of the army and he defected to Adonijah against King David.
Shimei cursed the king on the day calamity befell him and he was running away from Jerusalem. He also went immediately to plead for forgiveness after the king was restored. And the king assured him of pardon.
Abiathar lost his father Ahimelech and other 80 priests at Nob because of the help Ahimelech offered David when he was running away from Saul. Since that time as a boy, he remained with David serving him faithfully until the issue of Adonijah came up.
Solomon ensured that every desire of his father was fulfilled
it is clear that our walk with God requires that we remain blameless to the end. A little leaven will leaven the whole lump. Ecclesistes 10:1 dead flies putrefy the perfumers ointment and cause it to give off a foul odor, so does a little folly to one respected for wisdom and honor.
The ministry we have received as born again believers is more glorious than what these men had, hence, more is expected of us. We cannot afford to allow our garments be soiled by a little sin. God who did not spare the angels who disobeyed will not overlook our own disobedience.
If hand join to hand, no sinner will go unpunished. The curse upon Eli and his family in 1 Samuel 3 was fulfilled in the life of Abiathar and the descendants never continued as priests. We must remain loyal to the end unless we lose our reward. If we have divided loyalties God cannot be fooled.
Nevertheless, old testament dealings Is not our pattern. Our pattern remains Jesus and his teaching. We forgive and forget. That means we do not harbour any vengeful sentiments. We should not use worldly wisdom and diplomacy to take revenge against people to whom we have already promised forgiveness. God forgave us and took away our sin as far as the east is from the west so far he has taken our transgressions from us. that also is what he requires of us. Vengeance belongs to God and God alone.