“And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David…And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial: The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul,…and, behold, thou are taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.” (2 Samuel 16:5-8)
At the time of this passage, David’s rebellious son, Absalom, had taken over the kingdom, and David was on the run. He and his group of loyal followers were fleeing when a man named, Shimei, started throwing stones at David and cursing him. Shimei is of the house of Saul, Israel’s first king. He obviously hated the fact that Saul’s house no longer ruled Israel. In truth, though, Saul’s downfall was his own fault—that was common knowledge. Shimei, though, didn’t seem to care about the truth. As far as he was concerned, Saul was right, and David was wrong. Period.
Shimei followed David and his people, cursing and throwing stones. One of David’s soldiers, Abishai, offered to “…go over…and take off his [Shimei’s] head.” (2 Samuel 16:9), but David said no. He allowed Shimei to continue cursing and throwing stones.
Eventually, Absalom was killed and his revolt fizzled. The good guys—David and his people—won, and David was back in power. Shimei, the stone-thrower, now had good reason to be afraid, so he went to David, “And said unto the king, Let not my lord impute iniquity unto me…” (2 Samuel 19:19). Shimei apologized profusely to David. Abishai thought Shimei should be put to death, but King David forbade it. He was glad that God had put him back into power, and he accepted the apology.
As a cop, sooner or later, you will likely have a “Shimei” on the sidelines of a police incident. Like Shimei, he doesn’t care about the facts of what happened. He just can’t stand the police, and he’ll use the opportunity to call you vile names. He knows he’s doing wrong, but he likes “dogging out” the police in public because he knows he can get away with it. He knows that the police have to show restraint, and he has a First Amendment right, up to a point, to say what he wants. You may not be angry enough to want to “take off his head,” but you know that, by law, he’s provoking disorder and should be arrested. Still, if he fights and you have to use force, you may end up as the lead story on an evening news broadcast, and it won’t look pretty. So, sometimes you have to “eat dirt” on this job, which is never fun.
Although the “Shimei” on the sidelines may think he’s getting away with something, in the big picture, he’s not. People have a way of reaping what they sow. Galatians 6:7 says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” You may never see how your “Shimei’s” wrongdoing will crash down on his head, but the Bible assures us that somehow, someway, it will.
On the other hand, you may see it. You may arrest someone one day, then suddenly recognize him and watch his face drop when you ask, “Aren’t you the guy who dogged us out at the crime scene last week?” It’s fun when things like that happen. He may then mumble an apology when he sees that “what goes around comes around.” If he does, whether or not he really means it, you’ll probably do what David did: accept it and fluff the matter off. After all, you’re the good guy. That’s what the good guys do.
Even good guys need to receive Jesus as Saviour to get to heaven, though. If you want to see how to know for sure from the Bible that you’ll get to heaven? Then please click “How do I go to Heaven?” on the sidebar to the right.
Brian Miller 6/23/2015
Cleveland Baptist Church 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 216/671-2822