Wednesday March 16, 2011
It’s a very old saying, he who hesitates is lost. I did some research and found that the earliest use of this proverb was used by Joseph Addison, an English essayist and poet, in the play Cato (1713). It basically means that when we are swift and resolute in our actions we will experience success. Self-doubt on the other hand is a prelude to disaster. It was first used in the United States in “The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table” by Oliver Wendell Holmes.
This proverb has been used when people are talking about a potential job opportunity and wanting someone to buy into an idea. It has been used by friends to encourage others to take the initiative to meet a person of the opposite sex. It has also been used to get people to buy a seemingly great deal on a car or an appliance or a house when the deal will be removed from possible purchase soon.
I see this proverb working in the life of David, king of Israel. It comes out of the story from yesterday’s jlog where David decides to have his son Absalom come back home after being fugitive for three years after killing his brother for raping his sister Tamar. Hesitation is demonstrated by David in not seeking to reconnect with Absalom for three years. David invites his son back home but in II Samuel 14:24 we read, “But the king said, ‘He must go to his own house; he must not see my face.’ So Absalom went to his own house and did not see the face of the king.” In fact he stayed in Jerusalem for two full years without seeing his father. In the same town. Right next to where His father lived. David hesitated to connect with his son for FIVE years. Resentment and bitterness festered in Absalom for his father. David did nothing to deal with the rape of Tamar and he did nothing to reconnect with Absalom.
The rest of the story tells the impact of hesitating to connect with his son. Absalom began setting outside the gates and telling the people that the King (his father) wasn’t interested in their problems and won the people over to himself. Where do you think he got that idea? He by force took over his father’s kingdom.
What would have happened if David would have reached out without hesitation and connected with Absalom. What would happen in our relationships if we would let down our pride and seek to connect with someone we have been estranged from? How many marriages would be saved or children set straight if we didn’t hesitate in our connecting with them? On this journey we have the power to move with swiftness so that relationships can be reconciled.
On this journey sometimes we need to have decisive feet.