October 28th 2009

David And Shimei

“As King David approached Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul’s family came out from there. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he cursed as he came out. He pelted David and all the king’s officials with stones….As he cursed, Shimei said, ‘Get out, get out, you man of blood, you scoundrel! The Lord has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The Lord has handed the kingdom over to your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a man of blood!’…

But the king said…’Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.’”

II Samuel 16:5-11 (NIV)

 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth’. But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:38-39, NIV) 

It is not easy to answer when someone claims you’re a bad person, you grabbed your position against the will of God and it’s your fault you’re now headed for disaster. We don’t all get the same charge of explosives that David got, but we all get visited by the demolition crew at some time or other. Someone detonates in your face for a mistake you made, and suddenly remembers all your previous mistakes as well. Or you know something’s being whispered around behind you, but you don’t know what it is until it comes out publicly. Or someone genuinely believes they’re giving you helpful advice, but they’ve been saving it up for so long that they end up vivisecting your whole personality and putting it out for the birds. 

What do you do when you hit a Shimei moment? The options are limited. You can (a) get defensive, (b) get defeated, or (c) trust in God to vindicate, if not your current position, at all events your ultimate worth. From a psychological as well as a biblical standpoint: when someone channels Shimei, it seems you’re best to let them rip until they run out of steam and start to feel embarrassed. 

The lesson is not about being a doormat, helpless and powerless. It’s about calmly relying on God, who paid a high price both for you and for whoever doesn’t like you—and considers it worthwhile. 


God our Father, who redeemed us, apart from you I really am as useless as sin, but I believe that when I trust in you, you treasure me even when I look worthless. Please, Jesus, say something nice about me up there in heaven, where it matters.


Study by Fiona Jones 

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