Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei... He came out, cursing continuously as he came. And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David... Also Shimei said thus when he cursed: 'Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue!'
Now Shimei the son of Gera fell down before the king when he had crossed the Jordan. Then he said to the king, 'Do not let my lord impute iniquity to me, or remember what wrong your servant did on the day that my lord the king left Jerusalem, that the king should take it to heart. For I, your servant, know that I have sinned.'
Like the King Who would follow him, David was scorned and ridiculed. Like the King Who would forgive the sins of all men, David forgave the sins of his enemies.**
Consider the case of Shimei. As a frustrated member of King Saul's tribe, Shimei hated David. Shimei's anger became public in a dramatic display of derision.
Stunned by the rebellion of his beloved son, Absalom, David left Jerusalem in despair. 'David went up by the Ascent of the Mount of Olives, and wept as he went up; and he had his head covered and went barefoot. And all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up, weeping' (2 Samuel 15:30).
At the same time, 'Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him and kicked up dust' (2 Samuel 16:13). Imagine the scene. Shimei hurled words and stones at the sorrowful king. One of David's men wanted to cut off the cursing head, but David refused revenge.
Later, when Absalom's revolt was crushed, David returned to Jerusalem in victory. Once again, he passed by Shimei. This time, Shimei begged David's pardon. Once again, David's servant asked permission to take the traitor's life. Instead, Israel's greatest king offered Shimei forgiveness.
Even more, David offered forgiveness to everyone who supported Absalom's mutiny. Instead of cursing, killing or exiling them, he blessed them. 'You are my brethren, you are my bone and my flesh' (2 Samuel 19:12). He reunited Israel by forgiveness.
Actors, models and talent for Christ: forgiveness is essential to your success. 'If you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins' (Matthew 6:15). Therefore, forgive the family who hurt you. Forgive the friends who betrayed you. Forgive the enemies who attacked you. Forgive the agents who overlooked you.
Even more, bless them. David did. Jesus did. Consider their rewards. Consider your own to come. They're found on the top of a hill at the foot of a cross--called forgiveness.
To Be Continued...
* Prior AMTC Devotion series on Unforgiveness: http://www.amtcdevotions.com/unforgiveness-part-1-leprosy-of-the-heart
** 'What Made David Great (article)': http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2011/01/18/what-made-david-great/
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Valiant! Like David series.