Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 15:23-16:23 (additional reading: Psalm 119:113-128 and Proverbs 16:10-11)
Talk about kicking a man when he’s down. That’s what Shimei does. To feel threatened by your own Son is as bad as it gets, but Shimei adds insult to injury by coming out of his house, and cursing the King as he came by. He also picked up rocks and threw them at King David, and his servants. He called the King names. He charged him with being a violent, and a wicked man. What is this man’s problem? He is a descendant of Saul the King who the Lord rejected, and the one from whom David inherited the throne.
But notice David’s response – He could have killed him, or had him killed. In fact, one of his faithful servants who is named Abishai volunteers to do it for him. V9 Yet, 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? How patient are we with others, when we have problems in our own lives?
Shimei didn’t have mercy instead he had a critical spirit. So often we share this same critical spirit when things are not going the way we would like. Notice how Shimei conducts himself. He’s extremely negative toward David. He’s VERY vocal in his dislike of David – curses at David and throws dirt and stones at him. Critical people in the church often don’t engage in thrown stones, but they may as well do so for all the anger they unleash in their conversation about the people they are frustrated with. David had never done a thing to harm Shimei. But Shimei did everything in his power to belittle and embarrass David.
Notice the contrast between David and Shimei – one chose mercy the other chose harm. David could have responded to Shimei in anger and frustration… but he didn’t.
There are always going to be Shimei’s in this life. People whose sole objective in life is to drag us down so that they can lift themselves higher in their own estimation. But when we recognize the truth of Romans 8:1, the Shimei’s that try to hurt us and humiliate us have no ground to stand upon. They can’t gain any traction in their accusations… because there is NO CONDEMNATION for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.
- Is your life marked by mercy or harm?
- Do you treat others the way you want to be treated?
Father, Thank You that You show us mercy. Help us to treat others the way we have been treated by You. In Jesus’ name, Amen