“Shemei’s Unexpected Example”

“Shemei’s Unexpected Example”



Samuel 19-20

                I don’t know a

single person who likes to admit when they are wrong.  It must have something to do with the way our

brains are wired, but no one enjoys being wrong.  Have you ever done something to someone with

the assumption that you were in the right, only to discover later that you were

really in the wrong?  Then after you

uncover your mistake, you must make that trip to that someone to apologize for

your actions.    I don’t have to tell you

how miserable that feeling is, because we have all experienced it.  In the reading today, we are reintroduced to

Shimei the Benjaminite.  You may remember

him from 2 Samuel 16 when David was leaving Jerusalem out of fear for Absalom.

Shemei seemed to have been under the impression that all of David’s misfortune

was due to Saul’s death, and he was not afraid to let that be known to David

and his men.  2 Samuel 16.5 tells that “as

he came he cursed David continually.  Ans

he threw stones at David and all of the servants…” .  Later in 2 Samuel 16.7, he refers to David as

a “man of blood” and a “worthless man”.   Shemei must have had some strong convictions

to be so bold in his actions, because it was within David’s power to have him

killed.  In fact, if it had been up to

Abishai, he would be dead.  Yet, David

allows him to have his say and grants him mercy.  Later on, when it was safe for David to

return to Jerusalem after Absalom’s death, Shemei realizes he was wrong.  The Bible says that upon realizing his error

and poor judgment, he “hurried” to come down to greet David as he crossed over

the ford on his way back to Jerusalem. 

You know this must have been very difficult for Shemei to do, but he

bowed down before David and said to the king, “Let not my lord hold

me guilty or remember how your servant did wrong on the day my lord the king

left Jerusalem. Do not let the king take it to heart. For your servant knows

that I have sinned. Therefore, behold, I have come this day, the first of all

the house of Joseph to come down to meet my lord the king.” (2 Samuel

19:19-20). Once again David is gracious and pardons him.  I may not be able to fully understand how

Shemei felt as he was compelled to seek out the King’s forgiveness, however, I

do respect his willingness to seek forgiveness. 

Wouldn’t life be so much easier if we all were so adamant about seeking

restitution for our wrongs that we inflict on others?  What about seeking forgiveness for the wrongs

we inflict on Jesus when we sin?  Shemei

seems to be a man that came to his senses after his mistake; I pray that in

that respect I can be more like Shemei.