He Who Has the Son’s Words and Obeys Them

“And see, you have with you Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a malicious curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim. But he came down to meet me at the Jordan, and I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ Now therefore, do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man and know what you ought to do to him; but bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.”

‭‭1 Kings‬ ‭2‬:‭8‬-‭9‬ ‭NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

This was during the time when David was pursued by Absalom his son, and lost his throne. At that time, there was not any guarantee that he would be restored to the throne as king and already many people had betrayed him to follow Absalom. Then a man who was just a nobody named Shimei, cursed king David mockingly because of all that had happened to David.

But later, when David was restored to the throne, he did not do a thing to the man. Because of his noble character and faith in God, he left Shimei to be. Nevertheless, the man could be up to doing anything to David’s son once David dies. So, he tells his son of the incident. Although he forgives the man, he tells his son about it to uphold his son’s throne when he becomes king. In that sense, David held a grudge.

When he told his son, he said, “Bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood.” He was telling his son to take of the matter. Similarly, when Jesus Christ appeared on the earth as the Son of man, nobody realized He was the Son of God. They did not realize what glory He had. Hence, they treated Him ill.

However, He was raised to life by God, taken up into heaven and given the glory of God. After that, He saves those who served Jesus while He was on the earth and allows them to receive glory with Him. But regarding those who despised and spurned Him during His time on earth, God will not leave them alone. He must deal with them.

If God’s Son appeared on earth with the same glory of God, who would dare despise Him? When David was on his throne, who was able to scorn him? But the people who did not like him began to openly mock him once he lost his throne and was being pursued. Who can possibly curse God? They are no match for Him. How can the devil rebel against God in the face?

But when the Son of God came as the Son of Man – a weak man – the devil revealed his true colors and cursed Him. Man joined in it to curse Jesus. But God will not let them off. Yet He will not punish them altogether unilaterally; He gives them a chance. He gives them a chance to redeem themselves.

Even if they are enemies, God does not just dispose of them but gives them a chance to live. What kind of chance is it? Whoever wants to be with Him, He will allow them to be with them. Whoever honors His words, He will accept. So, our God truly abounds in mercy and grace.

What did this man, Shimei, do? In 2 Samuel 16:5-8 it says, “Now when King David came to Bahurim, there was a man from the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei the son of Gera, coming from there. He came out, cursing continuously as he came. And he threw 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. Also, Shimei said thus when he cursed: ‘Come out! Come out! You bloodthirsty man, you rogue! The Lord has brought upon you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned; and the Lord has delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom, your son. So now you are caught in your own evil because you are a bloodthirsty man!’”

But we just read in 1 Kings 2:8-9 how David told his son about the man, telling him to do what he needs to do to him. So what did king Solomon do? Let’s read 1 Kings 2:36-38. “Then the king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, ‘Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there, and do not go out from there anywhere. For it shall be, on the day you go out and cross the Brook Kidron, know for certain you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.’ And Shimei said to the king, ‘The saying is good. As my Lord the king has said, so your servant will do.’ So Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days.”

David told Solomon to bring Shimei’s gray hair down to the grave so that he does not die in peace. So Solomon could have just killed him with the sword but instead offered him a chance to live. He called Shimei and said, “Build yourself a house in Jerusalem and dwell there. Do not go out from there anywhere.” Thus, he was allowed to live freely in Jerusalem. Yet he was warned, “Do not go out from there. For it shall be, on the day you go out and cross the Brook Kidron, know for certain you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head. I will not be liable.”

It was an agreement. It was not a unilateral command. So Shimei answered the king, “The saying is good. As my Lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” And Shimei dwelt in Jerusalem many days. Shimei was relieved. His life was spared. He thought he would die. But a way was given for him to live. He was relieved. Let’s, however, read verses 39 and 40. “Now it happened at the end of three years, that two slaves of Shimei ran away to Achish the son of Maachah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, ‘Look, your slaves are in Gath!’ So Shimei arose, saddled his donkey, and went to Achish at Gath to seek his slaves. And Shimei went and brought his slaves from Gath.”

His two slaves ran away, and Shimei found out. So he set off to seek his slaves. He left Jerusalem. What was he thinking as he did this? Three years had passed since king Solomon spoke to him. Since three years had elapsed, he took lightly the words of Solomon, saying, “Oh it was said a long time ago. Would king Solomon still remember?” Do you know why he thought that? Because he was living happily and peacefully, and Solomon did not come to check on him even once during those years. So he did what he felt like.

My kids do the same. I tell them, “When you come home, hang your clothes up. Don’t leave them lying on the floor. If I see you do that again, you won’t be let off.” They listen for a day or two. But from the third day, they go back to their ways. And I think this cycle has been repeated hundreds of times. Even this morning, I told them. “Don’t do that. If you do it one more time, what should I do about you?” They said to give them a smack. But it is useless. They will do it again.

As time passes, people lose that watchfulness. Even though the king told this man he would die if he leaves, he did not pay attention. He disregarded the authority of the king’s words. ‘It should be alright.’ But the king was told of this. What happened next? Let’s read verse 41. “And Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and had come back. Then the king sent and called for Shimei, and said to him, ‘Did I not make you swear by the Lord, and warn you, saying, “Know for certain that on the day you go out and travel anywhere, you shall surely die?” And you said to me, “The word I have heard is good.” Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord and the commandment that I gave you?’ The king said moreover to Shimei, ‘You know, as your heart acknowledges, all the wickedness that you did to my father David; therefore the Lord will return your wickedness on your own head. But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.’ So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada; and he went out and struck him down, and he died. Thus the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon.”

It is added in the end that the kingdom was established in the hand of Solomon. It was not only Shimei who ignored the king’s words, but there were a few others. And the process of them being taken care of is being shown one by one. The kingdom was established once those men were dealt with. For the kingdom of heaven must be established, how can such men be allowed into it? How can men who disregard the words of Jesus be let into the kingdom of heaven if they will hinder the kingdom from being established? That kingdom must be established forever.

Hence, such men who despise the words of Jesus will not allowed to enter. The death of Shimei was brought upon him by himself. Of course, king David had it in his heart that such a man should not be left unpunished. However, his son did not execute him. This man chose this for himself. He chose death for himself. How come? Because he disregarded the king’s words.

Whose words were they? They were the words of David, the king’s father. Solomon passed on his father’s words to Shimei. But this man disregarded the words of the father that were spoken to him through the son. In the end, he died just as the father wanted him to. He could have changed his fate. The resentment and cursing he had towards David seemed to have been done away with; it appeared as though he had repented of it. But actually, it still remained in him, and after a long time had passed, what he had in his heart came to the surface when he disregarded the words of Solomon.

In this way, whether a person loves God or not is evident through how he takes God’s words given through His Son. If a man claims to love God but does not obey the words of the Father spoken through Jesus, he is a liar. On the contrary, the man who obeys the words of Jesus loves God, regardless of how other people might perceive him.

Hence, Jesus said, “If you love Me, then keep My commands. Whoever hears My words and keeps them is the one who loves Me. Then the Father and I will be with him and reveal ourselves to him.” Therefore, miracles, powers and blessings will become evident through that person. God said He will be with him. We are currently learning about the blessing of Abraham. Ultimately, God wants to be with us. But what should people do if they want to be with God? We must not only say with our lips, “I am blessed by God. I have Abraham’s blessing. God is with me.” We have to obey the words He gives through His Son. Only those who take and obey those words can have Immanuel.

Thus, if we do not have His words, how will we obey? That is why we need to have the Son’s words within us, continue to read His words and let those words be active through the Holy Spirit. As we endeavor to fulfil those words by doing that, God will also know that we truly want to be with Him and that we love Him so that He will also reveal Himself to us.

Immanuel is truly fulfilled when we vigorously obey the words given through God’s Son. God will not be deceived by us saying that we love Him through our praises, only done with our emotions. It is not as if God is happy when He sees us doing that. If we do really love Him, as Jesus said, we must keep His words and do them.

Also, people disregard the word because they think it can be disregarded. However, the Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 2:13, “When you received the word of God which you heard from us, you welcomed it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God.”

People perish because they have disregarded that word. Even though the word is delivered through man, whoever receives it as man’s words may perish, while the one who receives it as God’s voice may live. For this reason, it is very important that we have respect for authority inside the church. This is valid in the church because it is present in heaven also. Thus, we must be able to hear God’s voice humbly through the shepherd, the pastor.

Sometimes, in the workplace, the manager gives a task to the employee. The task needs to be completed promptly, but when there is a lot of work to do, he might put off that task for a while. After some time, he thinks his manager would have forgotten about it. So, he also does not say a word about it and leaves it undone. Have you ever done that? That happens in organizational settings like the workplace.

He keeps totally silent about the matter. Even after a month or two, the manager does not say anything to him, and he thinks he is safe. But he is mistaken. The manager does remember. The person given the task might not remember, but the person who gave the order does remember in those situations. And a person who does that to man will have a tendency to do the same before God. That is his vessel. Hence, what kind of person is chosen as a disciple? An honest and faithful person. If one cannot be faithful with unrighteous works, that is, worldly matters, expecting the master to have forgotten, how will God use him as a disciple?

If that is their attitude before men and even at work, what about the church? If a promise was made, especially if that promise was made with one who has authority, one should strictly keep the promise. All of this is the starting point of how we should be serving God.

Let us pray so that we can have the words of Jesus Christ within us and obey them. By doing so, let us show our love for God and thus have God with us through Immanuel.

Father God, we have received the grace of Jesus. However, we tend to take the words of Jesus lightly. Even our hearts are inclined to do so, and we often disregard the words of Jesus we have heard. We realize that this kindles God’s anger and is a grave sin. Father God, help us not to do so. Help us to honor Jesus’ words, knowing that they are the fearsome words of God Himself, and never take His words lightly. Help us to fully trust in those words and obey so that we can be pleasing to God. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Sermon by Pastor Ki-Taek Lee
The Director of Sungrak Mission Center
Sermon on November 15, 2012
Translated by Sungrak Mission Center English Team