[Bible Scripture: 2 Samuel 16:1-13; 19:16-18, 19-20, 23; 1 Kings 2:36-38, 39-46]
“First Impressions Are Often Lasting Impressions” – (A Proverb)
His Name is SHIMEI – (2 Samuel 16:1-13)
I believe we are all confronted with “first impressions” and the questions that arise in our minds:
Was his handshake firm, or like a wet dish rag? Does that family really let their daughter wear revealing clothes to church on Sundays?
Can our first impressions of people we run across everyday, without really knowing them, leave us with an impression that sits in concrete forever?
SIMEI introduced in 2 SAMUEL 16 – Scene One
The first impression I got of this man was not a good one. King David is forced to temporarily leave the throne, along with his family, friends, and servants from Jerusalem.
The reason for the hasty retreat –
David’s son Absalom had conspired against his father, gathered to himself a bunch of malcontents, and is bent on overthrowing his own father’s role as King.
David fears for his safety, and that of his family, friends and servants. He knows that at this point and time, it’s best to flee, and fight later!
It must have been a sad day as they all gathered their belongings, and fled from their home. Although a different story, it reminded me of the 1971 Musical and movie, Fiddler On The Roof, where the leading character Tevye and his family, friends and neighbors were forced to leave their town of Anatevka, Russian Empire in 1905.
The story found in 2 Samuel 16, the exodus was made even more difficult because Absalom, the King’s son, was the one causing the problem. And I’m almost certain there wasn’t a Fiddler following this group with the king.
As David, his friends, family and servants exit, they cross over the River Jordan, and over the Mount of Olives. It’s on the other side of the Mount of Olives that David encounters SHIMEI.
CURSING THE KING –
Talk about kicking a man when he is down! That’s what SHIMEI does here.
To be threatened by your own son is as bad as it gets, I would think. BUT SHIMEI adds insult to injury by coming out of his home, and cursing the King as he came by.
Oh, by the way, he also picked up rocks and threw them at King David and his servants…he called the King names and…charged him with being a violent, and wicked man (vv. 7-8).
“What is this man’s problem?”
He is a relative of Saul the King, whom the Lord rejected, and the one from whom David inherited the throne, and just maybe…it’s time to get even!
I don’t know the whole story, but I wonder if SHIMEI lived in fear of King David, or…could this have been a reaction from all the anger, bitterness, and jealousy that he allowed to build in his heart over the years?
I wonder how many times he said, “It’s just not fair!”
How many times in your life over the years have you said, “It’s not fair!”
Vengeance Is Obviously Something Shimei Had On His Mind (v. 8):
 The Lord has avenged upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hands of Absalom your son. Behold, the calamity is upon you because you are a bloody man!
Notice David’s response. He could have killed him, or had him killed. In fact, one of his faithful servants Abishai [David’s nephew] volunteers to do it for him (v. 9).
Yet King David allows him to live.
David knew what it was like to find MERCY. David also knew the need to show MERCY!
How good are we at showing MERCY to those who wrong us?
SHIMEI COMING TO THE KING – (2 Samuel 19:11-18)
The THREAT is over. The CONSPIRACY has ended and Absalom is dead. A great victory for the people of Israel, but a tragic loss for King David.
The Return of The King
After a time of mourning for his son, David begins the journey back to Jerusalem where he is restored to power.
As he crosses the Jordan River, who do you suppose comes out to meet him. The ‘Cursing Rock Thrower’.
I’m not sure how much common sense SHIMEI has, but one thing he does have is nerve!
2 Samuel 19:19-20 (Amplified Bible):
 Let not my lord impute iniquity to me and hold me guilty, nor remember what your servant did the day my lord went out of Jerusalem [when Shimei grossly insulted David]; may the king not take it to heart.  For your servant knows that I have sinned; therefore, behold, I am today the first of all the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.
SHIMEI confesses his SIN to the King!
He is now willing to be a SERVANT!
He does not refer to himself as being a descendant of Saul, but of the house of Joseph!
SHIMEI CLEARED BY THE KING
There is nothing wrong with Abishai’s memory!
“Shall not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?”
Notice the words of MERCY out of David’s mouth (v. 23):
 “You shall not die” [at my hand]. And the king gave him his oath.
What welcome words to the ears of a sinner!
King David is dead now, and his Son Solomon assumed the throne of his father.
Solomon sends for SHIMEI, and as he comes to the King, Solomon tells him to build a home in Jerusalem. However, there’s a catch; there are boundaries that come with the promise.
Reminded me of when I was a young boy growing up. My mother would give her consent for me walking to the nearby theater for Saturday Matinees with specific instructions–“come straight home afterwards, because moms always have ways to find out when little boys break the rules.”
Solomon specific instructions to SHIMEI–don’t travel out of Jerusalem beyond the Kidron Brook. If you do, the consequence shall be DEATH!
Although my mom never put the consequences of disobedience with death, in a young boy’s mind, I wasn’t going to take the chance.
SHIMEI agrees and promises to abide by the King’s wishes.
“BUT AFTER THREE YEARS…” (verses 39-46)
The agreement to the terms of his mortgage is forgotten.
Two of SHIMEI”S SERVANTS run away and Shimei decides to saddle up his donkey and pursue them. Perhaps he thought the King has forgotten or never finds out!
Caught In The Act!
Word comes to the King and he calls for SHIMEI, to remind him of the OATH he originally made three years earlier. He also reminds him of the CONSEQUENCES OF MAKING POOR CHOICES!
Don’t think for a moment that OUR CHOICES do not have consequences!~
SHIMEI DIES as a result of DISOBEDIENCE to the King! (1 Kings 2:46)
We Too Have Cursed the King!
We have sinned against Him!
We have thrown rocks at Him every time that we have rejected Him!
Every time that we have forsaken Him, and every time that we have questioned His authority over our lives!
Here’s the GOOD NEWS!
We can come to the KING!
We can find MERCY at the feet of the King!
IF…we will CONFESS,
He will FORGIVE!
MAKING RIGHT CHOICES –
If you are reading this and are already SAVED, as a Believer, you have a responsibility to the KING. He has placed LIMITS upon us and there are certain things that He expects from His own children.
Photo Credits: Courtesy of Google Image Search.
Bible Translations: Amplified Bible, except where noted in text.