Shimei—A time to stay home

Someone asked me if I believe in karma. I said, “No, because I believe in Jesus.” He explained, “You know, when bad things all seem to happen at once.’ Of course, all these mixed up ideas are oft pondered perceptions, but things that I have lived long enough to dismiss.Shimei is one of those ‘bad things’ who turned up at just the wrong time. King David was fleeing Jerusalem (2Sam.16), because his son Absalom had taken over the kingdom. Along the road, Shimei sent already heightened emotions skyward when he appeared out of nowhere, pelting King David with stones and curses. An angry Abishai offered to decapitate “this dead dog.” However, Shimei was saved from Abishai because David considered that God may have actually sent him:The king said, “…If he curses, and if the LORD has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” (2Sam.16:10).Subsequently, Absalom died at the hands of Joab, but David was yet to return to Jerusalem. When finally on the road home, he must have felt an overwhelming sense of Déjà vu at the sight of Shimei. This time, Shimei was repentant (2Kg.19:18). But Abishai still offered to remove Shimei from this world for his previous cursing of the king.But David promised him on oath: “You shall not die.”Shimei’s repentance wasn’t real as far as David was concerned. A conviction he harboured. Also, Shimei had accused David of shedding the blood of King Saul and his family. The opposite was true.David, when putting his affairs in order before his death, brought up the ‘Shimei-Incident’ with Solomon. Wise King Solomon would know how to extract justice. After David’s death Solomon told Shimei not to leave Jerusalem, or he would die. Shimei couldn’t help himself. He left Jerusalem to retrieve some runaway slaves and Solomon kept his word. “Benaiah struck Shimei down and he died” (1Kg.2:46).It would have done Shimei good, from the beginning, to have accepted that there really was ‘A time to stay home.’


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