2Samuel 16:5-13

Sunday Morning Bible Study

April 28, 2002


David is evacuating his people from Jerusalem.  His son, Absalom, has stolen the hearts of the nation and has raised up a rebellion to overthrow David.  Last week we saw David encounter three friends as they were leaving Jerusalem.  This morning we’ll see David encounter an enemy.

What do you do with people who don’t like you?

:5-13 Shimei’s curses

:5 king David came to Bahurim …

BahurimBachuriym – “young men’s village”. A town just outside of Jerusalem on the way to Jericho.

I find it interesting that the man who was so harsh with his words came from Bahurim, the “young man’s village”.  The things that we’re going to see in Shimei are things that come from immaturity.

:5  a man … whose name was Shimei

ShimeiShim‘iy – “renowned”

Shimei is “of the family of the house of Saul”.  He is related to King Saul.  He’s got lineage.

Hard things hurt worst when they come from a person with reputation.


Good from bad

The Jews held the position that Shimei had a descendant who would be famous.
(Est 2:5 KJV)  Now in Shushan the palace there was a certain Jew, whose name was Mordecai, the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjamite;

Mordecai was Esther’s relative, the man that helped save the Jews from Haman’s plot to destroy them.

You don’t have to be like your father.

:5 he came forth, and cursed still as he came.

(NAS) he came out cursing continually as he came.

cursedqalal – to be slight, be of little account, be light; (Piel) to make despicable; to curse. This isn’t “curse” in the sense of calling down a plague from God, but more the idea of belittling or ridiculing.  The form of the word here (Piel) expresses an “intensive” or “intentional” action.


Difficult times bring out a person’s true colors

David has lived for years in Jerusalem.  But now he finds out what Shimei thinks of him.
(Titus 3:1-3 KJV)  Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, {2} To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, showing all meekness unto all men. {3} For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
The Greek word for “speak evil” is blasphemeo, where we get our word “blaspheme” or “curse” from.
Speaking evil of people comes from a heart of malice, envy, and hate.

:6 And he cast stones at David

Here’s this one angry man throwing stones at David, while David’s men are trying to protect David.


Respond with blessing

We shouldn’t be cursing people, we should be blessing them.
(Mat 5:43-44 KJV)  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. {44} But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

The idea of “blessing” others is to bring a happiness on them.  To ask God to make them happy.  To ask God to help them.

 (1 Pet 3:8-12 NLT)  Finally, all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. {9} Don't repay evil for evil. Don't retaliate when people say unkind things about you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God wants you to do, and he will bless you for it. {10} For the Scriptures say, "If you want a happy life and good days, keep your tongue from speaking evil, and keep your lips from telling lies. {11} Turn away from evil and do good. Work hard at living in peace with others. {12} The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil."
Shimei is one of those people who will kick you when you’re down.
Like vultures, they can smell death.  When you’re in trouble you’ll find that there will people who will be extra mean to you.
Jesus didn’t kick people who were down, He healed them.
(John 9:1-7 KJV)  And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. {2} And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

The disciples had the typical mindset that said, “Whose to blame for these problems”.  Jesus wasn’t looking for blame, He was looking to heal.

{3} Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. {4} I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. {5} As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. {6} When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, {7} And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.

Shimei was throwing stones at David.  Jesus was putting mud on the blind man and healing him.

:7 Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial:

(2 Sam 16:7 NLT)  "Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!" he shouted at David.

:8 The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul

There is a sense in which David’s troubles are a result of sin.  They are a result of David’s sin with Bathsheba.

(2 Sam 12:10-11 KJV)  Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. {11} Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

But that’s not what Shimei is blaming David for.  It would seem that Shimei is blaming David for Saul’s death, perhaps Jonathan’s death, perhaps even the death of Ishbosheth who ruled briefly after Saul.

Why would he be blaming David for these things?

Because David was the one who replaced the dynasty of Saul with his own kingdom.  David was the one who took his family’s name out of the book of “Who’s Who”.
He’s making David his “scapegoat”.  He’s blaming David for his own family’s problems.
Saul lost the kingdom because of his own rebellion against God, not for anything that David did.

But David wasn’t responsible for any of these things.

These are “false” accusations.


The real accuser

Sometimes we look at certain life situations and try to decide who’s to blame.
Sometimes our conclusions are not correct.  Shimei’s conclusions were wrong.
Deb shared this verse with me from her study next Thursday - Paul writes to Titus:
(Titus 2:3 KJV)  The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

The Greek word for “false accusers” is diabolos, a word often translated “devil”.  The devil is a false accuser, he is the “accuser of the brethren” (Rev. 12:10).

Satan is the one who comes to condemn and accuse.
Jesus is the one who comes to save.
(Rom 8:1 KJV)  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
God does NOT punish us for every little sin.

(Psa 103:10 KJV)  He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be consequences for our sins.  But if God punished us for every sin we committed, we’d be far worse off than we could ever imagine.

:9 Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah

Abishai is one of David’s leaders.  He is the son of David’s sister Zeruiah, the brother of Joab, and the nephew of David.

:9  let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.


Well intentioned friends

It’s nice to have friends who want to stick up for you.
We talked last week about having friends who will fight for you.
But be careful about letting them lop off heads.
Jesus had friends with good intentions.
(Luke 9:51-56 KJV)  And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, {52} And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. {53} And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. {54} And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? {55} But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. {56} For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven on the Samaritans.  Jesus didn’t come to destroy but to save.

:10  so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David.

(2 Sam 16:10 NASB)  If he curses, and if the LORD has told him, 'Curse David,' then who shall say, 'Why have you done so?'"

I think that David has a commendable heart here. 

Some would say that David has a problem with self-esteem here.

Some people would think he should have taken Abishai’s offer.  But David remembers his sin.  He remembers what God said would happen as a result of his sin.  And he’s willing to accept it.


Respond by learning

David is willing to listen to the curses.  What if Shimei is right?
Sometimes we need to listen to hard things.  We need to pay attention to that thing called “reproof”
(Prov 10:17 KJV)  He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth.
(Prov 12:1 KJV)  Whoso loveth instruction loveth knowledge: but he that hateth reproof is brutish.
(Prov 13:18 KJV)  Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured.
(Prov 15:10 KJV)  Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die.
(Prov 15:31 KJV)  The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise.
(Prov 15:32 KJV)  He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
(Prov 17:10 KJV)  A reproof entereth more into a wise man than an hundred stripes into a fool.
We call this being “teachable”.
(2 Tim 3:16-17 KJV)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: {17} That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The best way to stay “teachable” is to pay attention to God’s Word.

Some have suggested that David wrote Psalm 7 on this occasion, calling Shimei “Cush”.
(Psa 7:1-5 KJV)  Shiggaion of David, which he sang unto the LORD, concerning the words of Cush the Benjamite. O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me: {2} Lest he tear my soul like a lion, rending it in pieces, while there is none to deliver. {3} O LORD my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; {4} If I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yea, I have delivered him that without cause is mine enemy:) {5} Let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; yea, let him tread down my life upon the earth, and lay mine honour in the dust. Selah.

There is a sense in which David was willing to receive the curse if he deserved it.


Charles Wesley –

…The awful righteousness of heaven.

Lord, I adore thy righteous will,

Through every instrument of ill

My Father’s goodness see;

Accept the complicated wrong

Of Shimei’s hand and Shimei’s tongue

As kind rebukes from Thee.

The real question to ask yourself is:  What am I going to learn from all this?


There is a place for saying hard things

There may be times when we have to say something difficult to someone.
(Eph 4:15 KJV)  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
(Lev 19:17-18 NLT)  "Do not nurse hatred in your heart for any of your relatives. "Confront your neighbors directly so you will not be held guilty for their crimes. {18} "Never seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.
The real issue is, “Why are you saying difficult things?”
Is it because you love the person, or because you are holding on to a grudge?

:11  Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it?

(2 Sam 16:11 NLT)  Then David said to Abishai and the other officers, "My own son is trying to kill me. Shouldn't this relative of Saul have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to do it.

:12-13 It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.

David simply walks away.


Walk away and put it in God’s hands.

This doesn’t mean that David will never act in regards to Shimei.  At this point in David’s life, he isn’t sure what God is doing.  If God wants to punish David, David won’t reject it.
Later on, when David has been through this tough season, and he has a better handle on what had happened, he will give instruction to his son Solomon:

(1 Ki 2:9 NIV)  But now, do not consider him innocent. You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood."

But for now, David walks away.
He feels that if God wants to, God can turn a curse into a blessing.
How do I know that David is really trusting God here?
(Psa 3 KJV)  A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom his son. LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me. {2} Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. {3} But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head. {4} I cried unto the LORD with my voice, and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah. {5} I laid me down and slept; I awaked; for the LORD sustained me. {6} I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me round about. {7} Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God: for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheek bone; thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. {8} Salvation belongeth unto the LORD: thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.