“…cursing continuously as he came.”– 2 Samuel 16:5
The Philistines had killed Saul and his sons. It was at a time when David was found fighting against his own country. Both men had made many mistakes. And now we see David on the run once more, this time from his son. Absalom “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” and turned them against God’s anointed King.
While they fled from Absalom, David and his men approached the land of Benjamin, where pro-Saul forces remained strong. They knew David attempted to fight against them with the Philistines. Although David was far away from the battlefield when Saul and his sons were killed, many probably felt David had a personal hand in the conspiracy.
Shimei’s actions demonstrated very clearly the Benjamite’s attitude toward David and his followers. Hatred for David had fully engulfed their hearts, which caused Shimei to throw stones at him and curse him. Something that many probably wanted to do themselves. As a result of his unrighteous anger, Shimei set aside the Scriptures’ commandment to “not revile God, nor curse a ruler of your people” (Exodus 22:28). Assumptions made based on incomplete information caused Shimei’s unwise reaction. A mistake that we can all easily make.
When we are in disagreement with someone’s world view, it can be easy to find fault in their lives. We begin looking for areas of weakness and morality so they can be exposed to the masses. Even if they have been restored to God, we can overlook God’s amazing grace and continue to hold a grudge. We would instead maintain our assumptions than forgive an offense, and we think, “it’s just easier that way.” As Christians, however, we must consider how Jesus deals with us. “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15).
“Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.”– Colossians 3:12-13