David and Ziba
16 When David had passed a little beyond the summit, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of donkeys saddled, bearing two hundred loaves of bread, a hundred bunches of raisins, a hundred of summer fruits, and a skin of wine. And the king said to Ziba, “Why have you brought these?” Ziba answered, “The donkeys are for the king’s household to ride on, the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat, and the wine for those who faint in the wilderness to drink.” And the king said, “And where is your master’s son?” Ziba said to the king, “Behold, he remains in Jerusalem, for he said, ‘Today the house of Israel will give me back the kingdom of my father.’” Then the king said to Ziba, “Behold, all that belonged to Mephibosheth is now yours.” And Ziba said, “I pay homage; let me ever find favor in your sight, my lord the king.”
Shimei Curses David
When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually. 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. And Shimei said as he cursed, “Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! The LORD has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.”
Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.” But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today.” So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. And the king, and all the people who were with him, arrived weary at the Jordan. And there he refreshed himself.
Absalom Enters Jerusalem
Now Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him. And when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, came to Absalom, Hushai said to Absalom, “Long live the king! Long live the king!” And Absalom said to Hushai, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” And Hushai said to Absalom, “No, for whom the LORD and this people and all the men of Israel have chosen, his I will be, and with him I will remain. And again, whom should I serve? Should it not be his son? As I have served your father, so I will serve you.”
Then Absalom said to Ahithophel, “Give your counsel. What shall we do?” Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Go in to your father’s concubines, whom he has left to keep the house, and all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench to your father, and the hands of all who are with you will be strengthened.” So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof. And Absalom went in to his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. Now in those days the counsel that Ahithophel gave was as if one consulted the word of God; so was all the counsel of Ahithophel esteemed, both by David and by Absalom.
2 Samuel 16 Commentary
by Hank Workman
The devastation David is hit with here seems never-ending. He’s manipulated by one man, cursed by another. His own son rides into Jerusalem, taking all of David’s making it his own; going as far as to take the remaining concubines left there and violating them publicly. Life on the run we see David almost resigned to the heartache.
It’s never easy to watch someone who has so much come against them even if they made the bed they now lie upon. Being stripped of everything that once was is hard to watch.
In the middle of all the heartache and unwritten soul searching, verse 14 speaks of David seeking a quiet strength.
“The king and all the people who were with him arrived weary and he refreshed himself there.”2 Samuel 16:14
Although this does not speak of his seeking God here, there is no doubt to me this is where his strength was found. Watching, hearing, enduring such tumultuous upheaval the only thing that was steady was coming back to the God he loved. Everything else was disintegrating right before his eyes.
There are times where all of us feel the same. Our eyes on the tangible of difficulty that bombards which hits every aspect of our ways, the torpedoes of discouragement can seem never-ending. Sometimes the only way we can find the strength to go on even in the wreckage of which we stand is from the strength God can provide. He refreshes our soul and draws our perspective back to Him. Sometimes that is moment by moment, second by second. Weary and heavy from continuing to endure, He brings that peace in the middle of all that could and is happening.
2 Samuel 16 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
The reason why we read several chapters back about the grace David extended to Saul’s family is because here in 2 Samuel 16, we read of how Saul’s family wants to kick David when he’s down. The words of Ziba regarding Mephibosheth will turn out to be a lie, but David and his men still faced the harsh ridicule of Shimei. Amazingly, with David still being king, he chooses to walk by peacefully. This is similar to the attitude Jesus, the King of Kings, demonstrated when he was ridiculed.
“Make your own attitude that of Christ Jesus, 6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form, 8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross.”Philippians 2:5-7 HCSB
David was open to the possibility that God had allowed Shimei to curse him. I was struck at how incredibly difficult this kind of response must have been. In our current era, most people can’t even scroll their social media feed without being offended by something. David’s behavior showed that he was humble. Again, I know I have written this a lot over the past several chapters, but David was content to allow God to sort out the details. He didn’t need to take matters into his own hands because he trusted the Lord would defend him.
I am not going to pretend like I have mastered this trait. It is not easy. But when we look at the examples in Scripture, we see many men and women who followed after Jesus and allowed pain and suffering to wash over them all while continuing to praise God.
“When, through the treachery of Judas, the bitter cup came to the lips of our Lord, he said, ‘It is the cup that my Father hath given me to drink.’ Pain and sorrow, treachery and hard speeches, may be devised against us by the malignity of an Ahithophel, a Shimei, or a Judas; but by the time these have passed, through the permissive will of God, we may receive them as the strokes of His chastening rod, that we may partake of His holiness. We are not the sport of chance or human caprice. God deals with us as with sons.”F.B. Meyer