Being gracious to others, especially those who wrong us severely, has become a lost art. We are so quick to point out the flaws in others in attempt to tear them down and build ourselves up. In comparison to these lowlifes, we reason that we are not that bad and that cruelty and injustice must be punished, particularly when we are the victims.
David in the OT had every right to condemn Saul. Saul was an evil king who wanted to murder David. Yet, we find a striking eulogy by David for the fallen King Saul in 2 Samuel 1:17-27.
1 Sam 1:24
“O daughters of Israel,
weep for Saul,
who clothed you in scarlet and finery,
who adorned your garments with ornaments of gold.”
What can we make of this? Was Saul deserving of this kind of praise? Certainly not. Was he a sinner who wasted all of his God-given potentials to satisfy his own ego? Yes.
But if we wanted to stack one man’s sin against another, David was no saint either. He, too, committed murder. He had an adulterous affair. He failed as a father in raising his sons.
We elevate David so much in sermons and messages as the one after God’s heart. And we condemn the Sauls and the Judases of the world as incorrigible heathens.
Perhaps, David was able to be gracious toward Saul because of the grace he had received. David’s graciousness upon the hearing the news of Saul’s passing is a clue that we really don’t know how to forgive each other. At the very least, it raises the obvious truth that we humans are far less accepting of one another than God is toward us. For all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God.