SATURDAY 3 December, 2016
Guilty as Charged
And see, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a malicious curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him; but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.” - 1 Kings 2:8-9
David, was a man of his word, he held to his oath and did not kill Shimei. He deserved death when he cursed at King David––the Lord’s anointed. Shimei, was a Benjamite and his allegiance lay with the family of King Saul. Abishai, one of David’s men, would have gladly silenced him but the king, in his mercy, withheld his sword (2 Samuel 15:9).
David, cautioned Solomon to use wisdom when he dealt with Shimei. He should hold him accountable for his sin. Shimei was guilty as charged and after David’s death, he would need extended mercy. Under Solomon’s reign, he was back in danger of judgment––as Solomon had made no such oath to further protect him. Later, Solomon did graciously prolong his life under one strict condition, he told Shimei:
…“Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there anywhere.For it shall be, on the day you go out and cross the Brook Kidron, know for certain you shall surely die…”(1 Kings 2:36-37).
After three years, the day came when Shimei made a fatal mistake. He traveled outside the bounds of Jerusalem to retrieve two runaway servants. Solomon gave judgment saying: “You know in your heart all the bad things you did to my father David. So the Lord will return your sin upon your own head.” So the king swiftly ordered Shimei’s execution.
God will give the rebel what he chooses and what he deserves.
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