So far we have studied 3 of the last will of King David.

1. The 1st will is to be strong and keep Gods commandment
2. The 2nd will is to judge and execute Joab the commander
3. The 3rd will is to show kindness to the sons of Barzillai (Part 3, Part 4)

Now lets continue by looking at the 4th and last instruction of King David.

 The Fourth  Will : To Judge Shimei The Benjamite

“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.”- David (1 Kings 2:8-9)

The 4th will of King David is to kill Shimei the Benjamite. For he had cursed David. On the surface it appears that David is pursuing  a personal vendetta against Shimei  But this instruction is concerning the security of the Kingdom Of Israel.

This instruction will make some of us wonder. “If  David had swore the Shimei not to put him to death with the sword’, is David going against his oath?”

If that was true, than David is showing disrespect to God by breaking his oath.

In order to understand the story better, let us ok closer into the story of Shimei.

The Sin Of Shimei

When David returns to Jerusalem to retake his throne in 2 Sam 19:18-23. Shimei led a party to welcome the King, and he admitted his sin before the King

“Do not let my lord impute iniquity to me,
   or remember what wrong your servant
  did on the day that my lord the king left
  Jerusalem, that the king should take it to
  heart. For I, your servant, know that I have
  sinned. Therefore here I am, the first to come
  today of all the house of Joseph to go down to
  meet my lord the king.”- Shimei (2 Sam 19:19-20)

Interestingly, Abishai, one of the Warriors of David did not accept it.

“Shall not Shimei be put to death for this,
  because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?” –Abishai (2 Sam 19:19-21)

Shimei did not just curse anyone, he had cursed the Lords Anointed. This is not just an offense before King David, it is an insult to God. Even if David can forgive the offense of Shimei to him, he will still need to be judge according to the law of God.

when Solomon executed the judgement to Shimei he said

“You know, as your heart acknowledges,
  all the wickedness that you did to my
  father David; therefore the Lord will return
  your wickedness on your own head.” –Solomon (2 Kings 2:44)

Shimei knows the iniquity in his heart, and God had return his wickedness on him. For he had cursed the Lords anointed. In the past when David had the chance to kill Saul, he refused for Saul was the Lords anointed.  It is against the law of God to harm the Lords anointed, it is a rule that all in Israel knew. Abishai is aware of it, that is why he felt Shimei must be executed for cursing David. For it is a sin onto God and not man.

Are Christians Allowed To Criticized The Lords Anointed?

There are some who thinks that “not harming the Lords anointed” means not criticising his mistakes. But if that is true, than no one would be able to say anything against God anointed workers. That will mean that ministers are given free rein to do whatever he likes.

That is not the right concept, for that only mean that we cannot criticise them base on our own opinion and perspective. If the Lords anointed were to go against the law of God, he will likewise face judgement.  We are allowed to expose them before the congregation and let them judge. The words of God can still convict him of sin. But we must never take the law into our own hands and move against them.

In fact this is how the law works in our world right now.

If a man were to kill our brother, we are not allow to take revenge by killing that man. We are allowed to report them to the police and to allow the law to convict him of murder.

If Shimei is Guilty, Why Not Execute Judgement Immediately?

The sins of Shimei was because of him offending God. For he had cursed the Lords anointed.But why did David not execute that judgement immediately?

2 Sam 19:22 tells us the reason

“What have I to do with you, you
  sons of Zeruiah, that you should
  be adversaries to me today? Shall
  any man be put to death today
  in Israel? For do I not know that
  today I am king over Israel?”- David (2 Sam 19:22)

Shimei had indeed sinned and he is deserving of death, for he had insulted God. But David did not carry out the judgement on that day, for that is a day of grace. God had allowed David to return to Jerusalem. But 2 Sam 19:17 tells us of another reason.

“There were a thousand men of
  Benjamin with him, and Ziba
  the servant of the house of Saul,
  and his fifteen sons and his twenty
  servants with him; and they went
  over the Jordan before the king.” – (2 Sam 19:17)

Shimei came and brought with him 1000 men from Benjamin and the servants of the house of Saul. David did not spare Shimei because he had an army with him. But David knew that if he were to punish Shimei on the spot, those men may rebel and start another civil war.

The action of Shimei also tells us that he did not really come for the forgiveness of David. For no man will bring along 1000 men just to make an apology. David understood his intention to make himself the martyr and he did not want to shed anymore blood that day.

Moreover that action would have portray David as a man who is gracious to the house of Saul. David had already planned to judge Shimei for his sin, that is why he wanted Solomon to carry out this judgement.

By doing so, he did not break his oath, for David had pass away and his oath was simply “‘I will not put you to death with the sword.” This oath is lift at the death of David. This is similar to our marriage vows. It is lift at the death of one of the partner.

The will of David tells us that we need to keep the law of God. For those who transgress his commandments will eventually face judgement.

Now let us look deeper into the Character of Shimei the Benjamite

The Character Of Shimei

2 Sam 16:5-6 gave an introduction to Shimei, it also tells us the character of Shimei the Benjamite

“Now when King David came to Bahurim,
  there was a man from the family of the
  house of Saul, whose name was Shimei
  the son of Gera, coming from there. He
  came out, cursing continuously as he came.  
  And he threw 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.” (2 Sam 16:5-6)

Shimei was from the house of Saul, he was a relative of Saul, and a loyal supporter of King Saul. Even though Saul was killed in battle, but Shimei hatred for David remains. When David was in distress, he cursed and threw stones at them.

Shimei is a man who add sorrows upon sorrows. He is a type of man who will bully the victim instead of helping him. He will choose to attack only when his target is too weak to retaliate. David was feeling down and it was made worst with the curses of Shimei. But yet David’s silence reflected his graciousness. For David can choose to fight back if he wants. He had warriors around him. Those warriors are eager to take revenge on behalf of David.

Abishai who was with King David said this.

“Why should this dead dog curse
  my lord the king? Please, let me
  go over and take off his head!”- Abishai (2 Sam 16:9)

The actions of Shimei irritated Abishai so badly that he wanted to kill Shimei. But David stopped him, for he felt that it is a judgement from God

“What have I to do with you, you
  sons of Zeruiah? So let him curse,
  because the Lord has said to him,
  ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say,
  ‘Why have you done so?’”- David (2 Sam 16:10)

David continues his explanation

“See how my son who came from
  my own body seeks my life. How
  much more now may this Benjamite?
  Let him alone, and let him curse; for
  so the Lord has ordered him. It may be
  that the Lord will look on my affliction,
and that the Lord will repay me with
  good for his cursing this day.” – David (2 Sam 16:11-12)

David felt that if he endure those cursing, perhaps God will look upon his suffering and show him grace. That is why David could withstand the cursing of Shimei, that was not because he had a better temper, for he only thought of God and his punishment.

Did God Instruct Shimei To Curse David?

But that explanation lead to 3 other doubts.

1. Did God instruct Shimei to curse David? Why is it not recorded in the bible?

2. If Shimei was following Gods instruction, why is he judged?  

3. If God did not instruct Shimei, then did David just accused God?

But we know David is a man who feared God, he would not dare bring an accusation before God. So what did David mean by “God has told him to curse me?”

David was referring to the judgement of God he was experiencing. David is saying that all these are part of Gods judgement for his sin. For God once spoken through Prophet Nathan.

“Now therefore, the sword shall
  never depart from your house,
  because you have despised Me,
  and have taken the wife of Uriah
  the Hittite to be your wife.’

   Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will
  raise up adversity against you
  from your own house; and I will
  take your wives before your eyes
  and give them to your neighbor, and
  he shall lie with your wives in the
  sight of this sun. For you did it
  secretly, but I will do this thing
  before all Israel, before the sun.” – Nathan (2 Sam 12:10-13)

David had committed a sin deserving death but God saw his repentance and forgave him. Even though David was forgiven, he must bear the fruits of his sin. One of it was that the sword will never depart from his house.

At the same time God will  raise enemies against him from his own house. If he was prepared to accept the sword from his son Absalom, then the curses of Shimei is insignificant compared from the sword of Absalom.  

David felt that these are all troubles that he must bear and those are the fruits of his sin. Therefore he did not choose to take revenge but he endured them quietly. He felt that if God were to see him bearing his sins quietly, God may grant him grace and end his punishment early.

The Importance Of Confessing Sin and Accepting Punishment

There are many who choose not to confess sin, for they knew that with that confession came with punishment and loss. But a man who truly repents will admit his guilt and accept the punishment of God. He will be willing to take any punishment that came as a result of his sin. David is a man like that, he accepted the judgment of God.

Many a times punishment is accompanied with the psychological stress. Not everyone is able to handle it. That is why modern counselling chose to convince the person that it is not their fault. For that could reduce stress within the person.

They often say that even though these men have done wrong, the fault lies in the others as well. But taking this direction will not make him repent from his mistakes. For he will feel that everyone had a part to play in his sin.

That is why we need to confess our sins before God. Even though there are many factors that may influence our decision to sin against God. The ultimate decision to sin lies with us. That is why we need to take responsibility for our actions. Even if we push the blame to others, God will not acknowledge that line of defence.

For Solomon told Shimei

“You know, as your heart acknowledges, 
  all the wickedness that you did …”

That is why David acknowledges his sin and accepted his punishment.

He is wiling to accept all the stress and all the pain that comes with the punishment. They did not deter him from coming back to God. He allowed those pain to lead him back to God. These troubles made him desire the mercy and forgiveness of God.

That is why his sin was forgiven and he was allowed to start again.

Conclusion So Far

The bible tells us that we all have sin and we must come before God with repentance. But we tend to ignore these and only remember the fact that the Lord had forgiven David  of his sin.

We often ignore the suffering that David took to receive that forgiveness and we think that God simply forgave David just because he prayed Ps 51.

As the result, we concluded that God was unjust and bias, for  he choose to forgive those whom he liked.

The bible records in details the Gods judgement onto King David and the bible likewise recorded how David accepted those punishment from God. That is why he could make a rebound from sin and continue his walk with God.

This is something we ought to consider and something we ought to learn.

Let us continue the study of this story later.