Eighth in the Solomon Series
Shimei was a Benjamite who joined Absalom in his rebellion against King David. Absalom was David's third son whose mother was a daughter of Talmai, king of Geshur, a region of Syria. As David took foreign wives, his domestic peace was under threat. Was this a good way to be cordial with nearby neighbors?
How can we make good decisions about ruling the domain God has given to us? We cannot always know the best steps to take, but as we are faithful to God's rules, our way will be protected. And protection is nearly as good as specific guidance.
When David sinned with Bathsheba, God made it plain that his sin would lead to hostility within his home: 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. 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. (2Sa 12:10, 11)
Absalom was the son who fulfilled this prophecy by lying with his father's concubines inside a tent that was in full view of the public.
Thus, when Shimei as a rebel in Absalom's revolt hurled curses, dirt and stones on David, David did not object. He knew God was justly punishing him for his sin and chose to endure the abuse. Shimei came forth, and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men [were] on his right hand and on his left. And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou [art taken] in thy mischief, because thou [art] a bloody man. (2 Sa 16:5b-8)
However, God did preserve David, and then Shimei begged for pardon. (See 2 Sam 19:16-23)
David granted the pardon, but did not forget Shimei's abusive insults and deep hatred for him. He warned Solomon about Shimei, Now therefore hold him not guiltless: for thou [art] a wise man, and knowest what thou oughtest to do unto him; but his hoar head bring thou down to the grave with blood. (1 Ki 2:9)
Solomon gave Shimei the option to live in Jerusalem, but stated that if he strayed beyond the city boundaries (where he could gather rebels to foment a revolution) he would die. After three years, when two of Shimei's servants ran away, he pursued them to bring him back, but leaving Jerusalem led to his death by Benaiah's execution.
Our repentance must be carefully guarded. If we don't show appreciation for our pardon by staying within the bounds of God's rules, we will lose our divine protection.