Delaying reconciliation makes its ultimate achievement difficult, perhaps impossible. No doubt that Absalom had insurrection in mind before he returned to Jerusalem. But David’s refusal to immediately reconcile with him did nothing to prevent it.
Like David, we sometimes wait too long to reconcile. My older sister and a sister-in-law had been feuding for some time when mom died after surgery. Her death reconciled them, but she didn’t experience it.
Bertram discovered that in Shakespeare’s All’s Well That End’s Well.” He finally admitted his love for Helena. But too late. The king reprimanded him:...”like a remorseful pardon slowly carried...turns a sour offense” is a love offered too late. We would say, Love that comes too late is like a pardon carried too slowly. Or like the messenger General Gates sent to congress in Philadelphia announcing his victory over General Burgoyne at Saratoga. Congress voted the messenger a pair of spurs, not a financial reward. He needed to have used them on his horse to hurry the good news.
If a kiss comes too late to reconcile; if love can be too-tardily expressed, forgiveness withheld too long can lose its potency when finally offered. Let us, believers in Christ’s forgiveness of our sins, quickly offer it to others for their mere offenses against us. Fini