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It has been said that perception is reality. This might be the case in many circumstances, but it is not always that way. In fact, for some, their perception may not be reality at all, but delusion! Delusion does not apply in the following examples, however. In 2 Samuel 16 are two examples of this “failed” reality. The first is with regard to David’s interaction with Ziba, and the second would be Shimei’s response to David. As one reads about the melancholy experiences of David, it is important to remember that David was facing three points that forcefully presented themselves. First, his own response to what was happening. He knew the Lord brought this about, and it was his belief (perception) the Lord was against him. Second, he was perplexed as to why Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth, would turn against him after he did what he did for him. Third, as David was fleeing from his son Absalom, Shemei made it a point to perceive (interpret) what was occurring as the Lord’s judgment against because David was a bloodthirsty man. This was the reality as each man saw it—and it was a mistaken reality. The Lord was not against David, though He let David know that there was a consequence to David’s previous actions (12:9-12). Shemei was terribly wrong and bowed before David in penitence when David returned from having fled from Jerusalem (19:18-20). Ziba lied to David about Mephibosheth (19:24-28). What we have in these cases are examples of incomplete knowledge. It is a reminder to each of us that before one concludes dogmatically about a situation, let there be certainty that all the information that is available is received and, then, interpreted correctly. Until then, be cautious, gracious, and merciful in handling the information presented. RT