Feb. 22. Further Unrest in Israel

II Sam. 16:1-14; Ps. 7:1-17

As David was making his escape from Jerusalem, he met Ziba, the caretaker of Mephibosheth, the lame son of Jonathan, son of Saul. He stated that he was presenting David with the two donkeys and other provisions that he had for their journey. He also reported that Mephibosheth had declared that the house of Israel was being restored to his father’s house. That statement reopened the wounds between David and the house of Saul. David had cared for Mephibosheth as his own son, but then he gave all that belonged to Jonathan’s son to Ziba.

The tribes of Israel were somewhat loosely knit. Saul had been of the tribe of Benjamin and they had not fully accepted David as their king. They blamed him for Saul’s misfortunes. As David’s company traveled into Bahurim, they met Shimei, a Benjamite. He was cursing, kicking up dust and throwing stones at David. Instead of striking him, David allowed him to continue as he thought that God was permitting Shimei to punish him for his misdeeds.

David penned another psalm lamenting his life’s burdens. Even though Shimei is not mentioned, the words of Cush were similar and evoked the same reaction. He began by calling on God to save him from his enemies. In declaring his innocence of wrongdoing, he submitted himself to just punishment from a righteous God if he were truly guilty. God will punish the wicked. They prepare trouble for others, but in the end bring punishment upon their own heads. The poet ends with a declaration of praise to the Lord Most High.