So Joab set off, went to Geshur, and brought Absalom to Jerusalem. II Samuel 14: 23 NRSV
In hindsight, David would have been better off carrying out justice against his own son. However, he cannot seem to get out of the depression of having his favored son in exile. Recognizing that the King is useless as long as Absalom is gone, Joab tries to help this situation. In this scene David is able to use the actions of Joab to mask his own intent of forgiveness and mercy. To the outsider, it seems as though David allows Absalom back from exile as a favor to Joab, the commander of his armed forces. But Joab's clever ploy means that David is simply saving face.
Saving face can sometimes mean we don't face up to our responsibility. Instead of admitting we were wrong or taking the fall for a mistake, we are somehow let off the hook. We come out looking good and still being respected.
I can't see how God really approves of that kind of behavior. Doesn't God see us as we are? Does God not want us to be true to ourselves and honest in our actions? Isn't that what loving our neighbor is about?
I don't have the answers, just lots of questions.
God, sometimes it seems I don't know what you really want of me. How honest am I to be? How transparent are you calling me to be? God me, shape me, mold me into the person you desire. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Copyright 2010 Amelia G. Sims