A humble and tender spirit will turn reproaches into reproofs and so get good by them instead of being provoked at them.
The world’s smiles are more dangerous than its frowns.
II Samuel 1
1 And when David was a little past the top of the hill, behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and an hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine.
2 And the king said unto Ziba, What meanest thou by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the king’s household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink.
3 And the king said, And where is thy master’s son? And Ziba said unto the king, Behold, he abideth at Jerusalem: for he said, To day shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father.
4 Then said the king to Ziba, Behold, thine are all that pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly beseech thee that I may find grace in thy sight, my lord, O king.
5 ¶ 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.
6 And he cast 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.
7 And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man, and thou man of Belial:
8 The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a bloody man.
9 ¶ Then said Abishai the son of Zeruiah unto the king, Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? let me go over, I pray thee, and take off his head.
10 And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah? so let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David. Who shall then say, Wherefore hast thou done so?
11 And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life: how much more now may this Benjamite do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.
12 It may be that the LORD will look on mine affliction, and that the LORD will requite me good for his cursing this day.
13 And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.
14 And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.
15 ¶ And Absalom, and all the people the men of Israel, came to Jerusalem, and Ahithophel with him.
16 And it came to pass, when Hushai the Archite, David’s friend, was come unto Absalom, that Hushai said unto Absalom, God save the king, God save the king.
17 And Absalom said to Hushai, Is this thy kindness to thy friend? why wentest thou not with thy friend?
18 And Hushai said unto Absalom, Nay; but whom the LORD, and this people, and all the men of Israel, choose, his will I be, and with him will I abide.
19 And again, whom should I serve? should I not serve in the presence of his son? as I have served in thy father’s presence, so will I be in thy presence.
20 ¶ Then said Absalom to Ahithophel, Give counsel among you what we shall do.
21 And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father’s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong.
22 So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.
23 And the counsel of Ahithophel, which he counselled in those days, was as if a man had enquired at the oracle of God: so was all the counsel of Ahithophel both with David and with Absalom.
II Samuel 1 – J. Vernon McGee
2 Samuel 16:1-12 – A Day That Revealed Character
There may have been some truth in Ziba’s statement, but we should balance it with II Samuel 19:24. Shimei vented the spleen of the house of Saul. He probably referred to the recent execution of the sons of Rizpah, and perhaps suggested that David had been guilty of all the disaster that had befallen Saul’s house from the day of Gilboa. When men curse us, whether we deserve it or not, let us look past them to the permissive will of God. “Let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him” (2 Samuel 16:11)!
When, through the treachery of Judas, the bitter cup came to the lips of our Lord, he asked (John 18:11), “The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?” 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.
2 Samuel 16:13-23 – The True King’s Loyal Friend
There are always some alleviations in our trials. Every cloud is edged with a silver or golden fringe. Shimei may curse, but Ittai swears allegiance; Zadok and Abiathar forget their ancient rivalry in a common sorrow; Ahithophel’s defection may cut us to the quick, but Hushai is willing to plead our cause.
Beware of any advice which complies with and gratifies the impulses of your own lower nature. He who begins by counseling you to do what is morally wrong can never be trusted as an adviser in matters that require consummate prudence. He is no oracle of God who does not take his stand on righteousness and purity. “The wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable,… and without hypocrisy” (James 3:17). Let us not run hither and thither to seek counsel of man. If any lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not. The one characteristic of a heaven-guided man is his calm decision and deliberateness. They that believe do not make haste!
2 Samuel 16:14—The king, and all the people, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.
A great weariness falls often on our souls. We are wearied because of the greatness of our way, and inclined to say there is no hope. Memory tires us, perpetually casting up the record of past unfaithfulness and transgression. The bitter way of the natural consequences of sin is toilsome and difficult to the feet. We faint before the averted eve of former friends and the pitiless criticism of foes. Longings for a vanished past, for life and love, for purity and peace; grind heavily in the soul. Our King has known something of human weariness, though not from all the sources that causes it in his subjects.
But amid the presence of our weariness the voice of God may be heard saying (Isaiah 28:12), “This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing.” There is rest for weary souls beneath the shadow of the cross, in the sight of which the burden rolls away. There is rest and refreshment as we sit in the banqueting house of Christ’s manifested and realized affection. There is refreshment as we eat of his flesh and drink of his blood; as we yield our will to his; as we sit with Him in heavenly places. We assuredly find Him to be “a hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest; as rivers of water in a dry place, as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land” (Isaiah 32:2).
There is no hill Difficulty without its arbor; no desert without its oasis; no sultry heat without its shadow of a great rock; no weariness without its pillow; no intolerable sorrow without its solace; no weariness without its refreshment; no failure of man without a very present help in God.