. . . When Shimei, son of Gera crossed the Jordan, he fell prostrate before the king and said to him, ‘’May my lord not hold me guilty. 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. For I your servant know that I have sinned, but today I have come here as the first from the tribes of Joseph to come down and meet my lord the king’’ Then Abishai, son of Zeruiah said, ‘’Shouldn’t Shimei be put to death for this? He cursed the lord’s anointed.’’ David replied, ‘’What does this have to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? What right do you have to interfere? Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? Don’t I know that today I am king over Israel?’’ So the king said to Shimei, ‘’You shall not die.’’ And the king promised him on oath. 2 Samuel 19:18-23
I consider this story to be one of the most remarkable acts of mercy from one human being to another in all of Scripture. Remember these words?: ‘’Get out, get out, you murderer, you scoundrel. The LORD has repaid you for all the blood you shed in the household of Saul, in whose place you have reigned. The LORD has given the kingdom into the hands of your son Absalom. You have come to ruin because you are a murderer!’’ Those were the insulting words Shimei hurled at David as he wept and walked barefooted with his whole family into exile! Not only did he pile insults on David, but he also pelted him with stones and threw dirt at him! Little did he know that David was going to ascend to the throne again. He saw David as a loser.
But self-preservation has a rather interesting way of causing people to make a sudden u-turn! With David back in power, Shimei was now the first from his tribe to welcome ‘’the murderer and scoundrel’’ back. Did Shimei deserve to be pardoned? Was he genuinely repentant? I can almost see the disbelief on Abishai’s face as he listened to the ‘’repentant’’ Shimei beg David for forgiveness. But David scolded Abishai and went on to forgive and pardon Shimei. He sealed his word with an oath!
What prompted David to show such incredible forgiveness? Could it be that he had a flashback of how God forgave him when he committed adultery and murder? Did he have a flashback of the many other sins not mentioned in Scripture which the LORD forgave him? When we have been forgiven much ourselves, we would forgive much as well.
No matter how painful the things done against us might be, it is always divine to work our way through the hurts and forgive those who have hurt us. The Bible says, we must ‘’’speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment.’’ (James 2:12-13) Forgiving and showing mercy to those who have wronged us helps us to partake of the very nature of our loving God. Remember that it is because of His mercies that we ourselves are not consumed. Let’s allow mercy to triumph.
Prayer: Lord, please help me to be as merciful to others as you are to me. Amen