II Samuel 16:1-14

Sunday, September 20th, 2015



Sometimes God allows things to happen over which we have no real control; yet, we are responsible for our response to them. So, how are we supposed to handle situations which arise in the course of our daily lives?

Proverbs 3:5-7 - (5) Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. (6) In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (7) Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

Psalms 37:5 - Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Prayer is something we must always do. It helps if we pray as we begin each day that God direct our every step that day. Also, as things come up, it doesn't take long to ask God to give me wisdom to do what I need to do in this situation. James 1:5 says,

James 1:5 - If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

Furthermore, we must be familiar enough with our Bibles that we always try to handle situations in a Biblical way.

You can always trust the LORD, but you cannot always trust people; and there are some people you can never trust. Even if you can't hear what they are saying, you know that they are lying to you because their mouths are moving. Why is when I make this statement certain politicians come to mind? We all know that things may not actually be exactly like people try to make them appear. Just listen to the politicians!

We remind ourselves of Romans 15:4 , which tells us the reason God put things in the Old Testament -

Romans 15:4 - For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

If you ever find yourself under attack, you want to be careful because you may not be able to tell who your real friends are. In II Samuel 16:1-14 we see David deceived by Ziba and cursed by Shimei. You have probably had similar situations in your life and can empathize with David.

We see -


We see that -

1. Ziba obtained the King's favor - 16:1-3

II Samuel 16:1-3 - (1) And when David was a little past the top of the hill [i.e. the top of the Mount of Olives on the east side of Jerusalem as he was fleeing from Absalom], behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses [i.e. donkeys] 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? [Does this question suggest that David suspected that Ziba might have an ulterior motive?] And Ziba said, The asses [i.e. the donkeys] 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 [i.e. in the desert] may drink.

If the story ended here, you might think that this was something really nice which Ziba did. However, gifts sometimes come with strings attached. People may be expecting that on a later occasion you will return the favor by doing something special for them. Sometimes people have given gifts in order to curry favor with the one receiving the gift. You always want to know before you accept a gift if there are any strings attached to it, i.e. if the gift is being given in order to influence you to do something later on in return for your being given the gift.

Now sometimes this may be all right. For example, many engagement rings have been given with the expectation that there will be a wedding at some future date. If I am not mistaken, I may have done something like this; but it had to be a long, long, long, long, long time ago! At least my dear, sweet wife wears an engagement ring; and I'm sure that I must be the one who gave it to her! Of course, I'm the one who gave it to her; and I remember it very well. I was teasing my wife yesterday - imagine that, that I would be teasing my wife! - She has been a little forgetful lately; so, I suggested that she adopt a verse in Philippians as a new life's verse, Forgetting those things which are behind. . . . It goes along with my new life's verse, Lord, lead me not into confusion. . . .

Sometimes, however, it would be wrong for someone to accept a gift when it is actually a bribe being given to influence some politician's vote on a piece of legislation, or a judge's decision, or the awarding of a contract.

Note that -

(1) Ziba gave the king a gift

Note also that -

(2) Ziba gave the gift at a time when it was badly needed

Note furthermore that -

(3) Ziba gave a gift which was well-selected

Did Ziba have some kind of advance notice of what Absalom was doing? How convenient it was that he could be in this very spot at this precise time with all these things for David.

But note additionally that -

(4) Ziba accused Mephibosheth

II Samuel 16:3 And the king said, And where is thy master's son [The thought is, Where is Saul's (or Jonathan's) son, Mephibosheth?]? 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 [i.e. Saul's kingdom, particularly the northern tribes, to which I am the rightful heir.].

Oh, Oh! This doesn't sound good for Mephibosheth! According to Ziba, Mephibosheth was glad for David's problem with Absalom and hoped he might gain the throne of the northern tribes for himself. Absalom's rebellion might open the door for the followers of Saul to regain the kingdom consisting of the northern tribes for themselves with Mephibosheth as their king. Was this really true? Ziba suggested that it was.

We see next that -

2. Ziba flattered David - 16:4

II Samuel 16:4 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.

Without finding out why Mephibosheth had not come to accompany him in his flight from Jerusalem, David arbitrarily gave all of Mephibosheth's inheritance to Ziba.

I remind you that according to -

Proverbs 26:28 - A lying tongue hateth those that are afflicted by it; and a flattering mouth worketh ruin.

I also remind you that according to -

Proverbs 29:5 - A man that flattereth his neighbour spreadeth a net for his feet.

Did Ziba tell David what David wanted to hear? We should not be influenced by people who tell us what they think we want to hear. We need to attempt to discern the truth. Ask the Lord for direction in helping you to discern the truth, and be careful of drawing conclusions prematurely. Observe people when they have no idea that you are watching them. You'll get a better picture of what they are really like.

David should have checked out what Ziba said and not have assumed that he was telling the truth. Instead, in my opinion David allowed himself to be outmaneuvered by Ziba. Was David influenced by Ziba's generous gift? Although I really can't tell whether Ziba was telling the truth or lying, I happen to believe that he was lying.

How often have we jumped to conclusions without checking out all the facts? Do we have a tendency to believe a friend's side of the story without considering whether the friend could be the one who is in the wrong? Might we have a tendency to believe the side of the story told by someone who has in some way done us a favor? On the other hand, might we have a tendency not to believe someone we don't particularly like even though he may actually be telling the truth?

Some time later, David would hear a different version of what really happened. It must have been embarrassing for David to learn that he may have been deceived.

We are told Mephibosheth's side of the story in -

II Samuel 19:24-30 - [This occurred after Absalom had been defeated and David had returned to Jerusalem.] 24 And Mephibosheth the son of Saul [He was actually the grandson of Saul] came down to meet the king, and had neither dressed his feet [i.e. cared for his feet], nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the king departed until the day he came again in peace. 25 And it came to pass, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the king, that the king said unto him, Wherefore wentest not thou with me [i.e. Why did you not go with me?], Mephibosheth? 26 And he answered, My lord, O king, my servant [i.e. Mephibosheth's servant Ziba] deceived me: for thy servant said [meaning, I said], I will saddle me an ass [i.e. a donkey], that I may ride thereon, and go to the king; because thy servant is lame [i.e. Mephibosheth needed to ride on a donkey because he was crippled.]. 27 And he [i.e. Ziba] hath slandered thy servant [i.e. has slandered me] unto my lord the king [i.e. unto you, David]; but my lord the king is [i.e. but you, David, are] as an angel of God: do therefore what is good in thine eyes. 28 For all of my father's house [i.e. All of Saul's family including me] were but dead men before my lord the king [i.e. before you, David]: yet didst thou set thy servant [i.e. you set me] among them that did eat at thine own table. What right therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the king? 29 And the king said unto him, Why speakest thou any more of thy matters? [i.e. We aren't going to talk about this any more.] I have said, Thou and Ziba divide the land. [Taken at face value, David's decision was a terrible decision. The matter should have been thoroughly investigated in order to learn the truth. However, there is no indication in the Bible that David ever resolved this problem he created. It also doesn't appear that he prayed about this decision before making it.] 30 And Mephibosheth said unto the king, Yea, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the king is come again in peace [i.e. inasmuch as you, David, are come again in peace] unto his own house [i.e. unto your own house]. [Assuming that Mephibosheth had told the truth about Ziba, this was a wonderful attitude for Mephibosheth to have.]

Remember that God constantly leads believers. Seek His direction. There is no indication that David sought the Lord's direction on this matter. Somehow, God allowed David to be in this situation and, perhaps, to make this mistake for David's own good.

Next we see that -


We remind ourselves of -

Romans 8:28 - And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Psalms 37:23 - The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.

We know that for some reason, God allowed David's encounter with Shimei for David's good even though we may not be able to discern exactly why God allowed it.

Remember also that chastisement is normal for believers.

Hebrews 12:5-11 - (5) And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: (6) For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (7) If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? (8) But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. (9) Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (10) For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he [i.e. the Lord chastens us] for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. (11) Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Remember also that chastisement is simply instruction in righteousness.

II Timothy 3:15-17 - (15) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. (16) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction [the same word translated chastisement in Hebrews 12:5-11 ] in righteousness: (17) That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

Eventually you are going to hear something about yourself which may not be particularly flattering. It might even be very negative, and it not even be true. How do we react when we learn that nasty things have been said about us or done to us? How do we react when we learn that someone has lied about us? Remember that God has allowed it for our good. God could have prevented the whole situation in the first place, but He allowed it.

We ought to ask ourselves, OK, God, so what should I learn from this? Help it be for my good.

1. He cursed David - v. 5

II Samuel 16:5 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 [i.e. he was cursing continuously] as he came.

2. He cast stones at David - v. 6

II Samuel 16:6 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.

3. He called David names - v. 7

II Samuel 16:7 And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man [i.e. you bloodthirsty man], and thou man of Belial [i.e. and you worthless man].

4. He falsely accused David - v. 8

II Samuel 16:8 The Lord hath returned upon thee all the blood [i.e. the bloodshed] of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned [i.e. in whose place you have reigned]; and the Lord hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief [i.e. you are caught in your own evil], because thou art a bloody man [i.e. because you are a bloodthirsty man].

Down to verse 13 -

5. He cast dust at David - v. 13

II Samuel 16:13 And as David and his men went by the way [i.e. along the road], Shimei went along on the hill's side over against him [i.e. opposite him], and cursed as he went [i.e. cursing as he went], and threw stones [i.e. throwing stones] at him, and cast [i.e. casting] dust.

As a result of Shimei's cursing of David, we see the -


II Samuel 16:9 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.

If you had been David, what would you have done? I'm afraid I would have let Abishai cut off his head and would have rejoiced when he did. Then I think about it and realize that this is my old sin nature talking and that I should never do this.

In response to Abishai's question, we see -


II Samuel 16:10-12 - (10) And the king said, What have I to do with you, ye sons of Zeruiah [i.e. a reference to Abishai and his brother Joab. They were sons of David's sister, 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 [i.e. repay] me good for his cursing this day.

1. Let him curse

II Samuel 16:10 - 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 [i.e. why] hast thou done so?

2. The Lord hath said, Curse David

II Samuel 16:10 - 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?

David realized that this was something the Lord had permitted to come into his life at this time because, in the Lord's opinion, David needed it.

3. Let him alone

II Samuel 16:11 - 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.

Remember the truth of Romans 12:19

Romans 12:19 - Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

4. David cast himself on the Lord's mercy

II Samuel 16:11-12 - (11) . . . 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 [i.e. repay] me good for his cursing this day.

Note how Christ handled attacks on Himself -

I Peter 2:21-25 - (21) For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) Who did no sin, neither was guile [i.e. deceit] found in his mouth: (23) Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously [i.e. to God the Father]: (24) Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. (25) For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Finally, we see that -


II Samuel 16:14 And the king, and all the people that were with him, came weary, and refreshed themselves there.


1. God loves us and is at work in our lives because we are his children.

2. Look at how David mishandled the situation with Ziba and Mephibosheth. God allowed David to do this in order to teach David something he needed to learn.

3. Look beyond the afflicting instrument to the righteous hand of God. Shimei was the instrument that God used to afflict David at this time. This is not saying that Shimei was right or justified in what he did. He was wrong and should not have done what he did, but God allowed it for David's good.

4. Exercise hope that God will bring good out of evil.

5. Trust that God is using things like these to make a stronger Christian out of you.