So the king sent for Shimei and demanded, “Didn’t I make you swear by the LORD and warn you not to go anywhere else or you would surely die? And you replied, ‘The sentence is fair; I will do as you say.’ Then why haven’t you kept your oath to the LORD and obeyed my command?” 1 Kings 2:42-43 NLT
In First Kings chapter two three men die. One of them is Joab, the general who had murdered two of his rivals in cold blood. But the other two, Adonijah and Shimei, didn’t have to die. What happened? What happened is that each of them succumbed to what he had made of himself.
Adonijah’s attempt to make himself king had failed. David had chosen Solomon to succeed him, following Yahweh’s direction. Now Solomon had magnanimously extended amnesty to Adonijah. But Adonijah played the fool. David, Adonijah’s father, had not taught him to discipline himself (1 Kgs 1:4). As a result, Adonijah had made himself self-indulgent, doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted. So, with incredible lack of foresight, Adonijah asked that David’s de facto concubine, Abishag, be given him. As Solomon said, “Next, he’ll be asking for the kingdom,” and Adonijah died.
What about Shimei? When David was fleeing Absalom, Shimei let himself go in a fury of contempt against David, screaming curses, throwing rocks, etc. (2 Sam 16:13). Then when David was returning after Absalom’s death, Shimei was right at the front to welcome David back (2 Sam 19:16). What do we see? Another man who did not think. In this case, it is impetuosity. If it occurs to him, he does it. David forgave him, but he told Solomon to keep an eye on him. So, Solomon told Shimei to stay in Jerusalem or die. What happened? A couple of Shimei’s slaves ran away. What did Shimei do? He took right out after them. Bad choice.
Both these men destroyed themselves, one through thoughtless self-indulgence, the other through thoughtless impetuosity. This is what they had made of themselves through years of self-serving choices. What are you and I making of ourselves? What grooves are we wearing in our souls that one day we will not be able to get out of? Thank God, he can redeem us and transform us. But it will not happen without our active cooperation. What are you making of yourself today?