Today's passage is 2 Samuel 19:16-30. Here we see how David deals with two men who had hurt David badly when he was at one of the worst points of his life. Both these two men deserved death, but David shows them mercy. Let's learn how God's mercy toward us exceeds even David's mercy toward these two men.
2 Samuel 19:23 (NIV)
23 So the king said to Shimei, "You shall not die." And the king promised him on oath.
On verses 16-23: When David was leaving Israel because his son Absalom had stolen the throne, Shimei hurled stones at David, called him a murderer and a scoundrel and told him to get out. At that time, Abishai the brother of Joab offered to cut off Shimei's head, but David told him not to (2 Samuel 16:5-14). Now that David has returned to Israel and reclaimed his throne, Shimei begs David for mercy, and a similar scene takes place: Abishai suggests that Shimei should be put to death (v21), but David again has mercy on Shimei (v22-23). (Keep in mind that David's mercy on Shimei would be short-lived, because toward the end of David's life David would tell his son and successor Solomon to put Shimei to death (1 Kings 2). Why? That's a lesson for another day when we look at 1 Kings 2.)
What can we learn from this? Just as Shimei cursed King David, all of us are guilty of sinning against Jesus the Son of David through our words, our actions and our attitudes.
So before you start complaining about why God hasn't given you this or that, remember that like Shimei, we deserved to die for our sins. We didn't deserve anything from God except death. Yet God in His mercy not only spared us from death but He has already given us so many other undeserved blessings.
The mercy God showed us was far greater than the mercy David showed Shimei. That's because Shimei died many years later for his sin after David was no longer in power, so the king's wrath on Shimei was only delayed. We have it far better. We should have died for our sin, but Jesus died in our place so that God's wrath toward our sin could not just be delayed but could be extinguished completely. David's mercy on Shimei lasted only David's lifetime (1 Kings 2), but through Jesus Christ God's mercy on us lasts forever. That's the all-surpassing mercy God has on you and me through Jesus Christ
2 Samuel 19:25 (NIV)
25 When he came from Jerusalem to meet the king, the king asked him, "Why didn't you go with me, Mephibosheth?"
On verses 24-30: A crippled and disheveled Mephibosheth arrives to welcome King David back to power. When David asks Mephibosheth why he did not go with David when David left the throne, Mephibosheth blames his servant Ziba, saying that Ziba kept him from going (v25-26). But Mephibosheth also acknowledges that David has already had mercy on him. He and the rest of Saul's descendants deserved nothing but death from David, and yet David gave Mephibosheth a place at David's table (v28). As such Mephibosheth says he cannot ask for anything more from David and lets David decide what to do with him (v28b). So David orders that the land that was originally Mephibosheth's, but that was then taken away by his accuser Ziba now be divided between Mephibosheth and Ziba (v29).
What can we learn from this? Here we see another dimension to God's mercy on us. God's mercy on us means that our inheritance is restored. Earlier Mephibosheth's accuser Ziba had stolen Mephibosheth's inheritance (2 Samuel 16:1-4). In his mercy David restored half of that inheritance back to Mephibosheth (v29). That is mercy, especially when it was questionable whether Mephibosheth was telling the whole truth.
God did even more for us than David did for Mephibosheth: when our accuser Satan had stolen our inheritance, Jesus restored our entire inheritance back to us.
Heavenly Father, thank You that when all I deserved was death, You had mercy on me and let me live, not just many years like Shimei, but forever with You. Thank You that when the accuser Satan had stolen my inheritance, You restored all of it back to me in Jesus Christ. Thank You for all the all-surpassing mercy You had and continue to have on my life. In Jesus' name, AMEN.