Summary: David takes an oath that Shimei will not be harmed. Forgiveness has taken place. Or has it?
DAVID’S OTHER SIN
I would like to tell you a story this morning. The story is a Biblical story that can be found in 2 Samuel 16, 2 Samuel 19, and 1 Kings 2. Actually, each of those chapters corresponds to an episode of the story. The story revolves around the ‘other sin’ of King David. If I were to ask you the defining sin of David’s life, what would you say? I am sure it would have to do with Bathsheba and adultery and murder (2 Samuel 11). We think of David’s life and immediately spot that time in David’s life as his sin. However, there is another sin of David recorded in the Bible that we do not seem to remember or catch and it is that story that I would like to share with you today.
SEGMENTED BIBLICAL NARRATIVE PART 1 OF 3 (2 Samuel 16:5-14)
The time in which we find this first episode of David’s life is a time after Saul and Jonathan are killed and David becomes king. David is the one that God chose to be king and did so through the prophet Samuel. David was the Lord’s anointed and was to be the earthly king. It was not any easy road. David’s son Absalom has conspired against him and instead of killing his son; David chooses to leave Jerusalem. It is in that moment of fleeing Jerusalem that David meets Shimei.
2 Samuel 16 describes the episode in great detail. David was fleeing with some of his men, when he is assaulted both verbally and physically by a man named Shimei. Shimei was of the same clan as Saul and Jonathan and was furious with David. The Bible says that he, “cursed as he came out” (2 Samuel 16:5). He was angry. Verse six of this chapter tells us that as Shimei cursed David that he threw stones and hit the king, the king’s guard, and those with him. He called the king “a man of blood” and a “scoundrel.”
One of David’s companions was not about to take this kind of treatment and asked the king (2 Samuel 16:9), “Let me go over and cut off his head!” Drastic! The king should not be treated in this way! David did not allow his companion to kill Shimei. David had so many other things to worry about. His mind and his spirit was in turmoil. David did not know if the Lord sent Shimei to pronounce the curse upon him. Not only that, his own son was out to kill him! He had other more pressing issues than this man following them and pelting them with stones and “showering them with dirt” (2 Samuel 16:13).
What is a scoundrel? A dictionary would tell us that a scoundrel is a mean person or a villain. A scoundrel is someone without morals or values or virtues. In a love story, a scoundrel is the guy trying to get between the hero and his one true love. A scoundrel is the outlaw who steals away the treasure.
I do not think that we would put King David in any of those descriptions. David may have made his mistakes, but it certainly was not his lifestyle. Shimei did not seem to care. He was angry. Saul should still be on the throne! David was in the way and Shimei attacked him. Shimei attacked him with words and Shimei attacked him with rocks.