Forgiveness

This past week, we talked about the tragedy of Absalom’s rebellion. David is left heartbroken when his son attempts to overthrow him and is killed in the process. This week’s story begins when David is fleeing the city (2 Samuel 16). The later part of the story resumes after Absalom’s death (2 Samuel 19).

David is on his way out of town. A man from Saul’s clan comes out and begins to curse David. His name is Shimei.

(2 Samuel 16:5–7 NIV) he cursed as he came out. He pelted David and all the king’s officials with stones, though all the troops and the special guard were on David’s right and left. As he cursed, Shimei said, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you scoundrel!

Talk about kicking a guy when he is down. David has enough problems; he doesn’t need this jerk tormenting him. David’s companion, Abishai, wants to take this guys out. He asks,

(2 Samuel 16:9 NIV) “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head.”

David’s response may surprise you. David tells his companion to leave him alone. David does not retaliate.

(2 Samuel 16:13 NIV) So David and his men continued along the road while Shimei was going along the hillside opposite him, cursing as he went and throwing stones at him and showering him with dirt.

We know how the story unfolds. David is eventually restored to power. By 2 Samuel 19, David is on his way back to Jerusalem. As he is crossing the Jordan River, guess who shows up? That right, Shimei. But this time, he is not throwing rocks. He is begging for David’s mercy. Interestingly, Shimei seeks David out, bows down before him and begs David to forget his actions.

(2 Samuel 19:19 NIV) Do not remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king left Jerusalem. May the king put it out of his mind.

What is David going to do? How is he going to respond? Join us on Sunday as we explore this story. We will also delve into Matthew 18 as we consider what it means to extend grace.