Shimei the first SWATter

Shimei the first swatter

Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel! The LORD is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the LORD has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer! – 2 Samuel 16:7-8

2 Samuel 16:5-13

 5 As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul’s family.

 6 He threw stones at the king and the king’s officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him.

 7 “Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!” he shouted at David.

 8 “The LORD is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the LORD has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!”

 9 “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. “Let me go over and cut off his head!”

 10 “No!” the king said. “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the LORD has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?”

 11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to do it.

 12 And perhaps the LORD will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.”

 13 So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing as he went and throwing stones at David and tossing dust into the air.

Swatting is somewhat of a new phenomenon where fraudulent calls to the local police are intended to create a response by a SWAT team to a person’s home. It happened in November 2019 to Adam Mosseri, Instagram CEO. Police in San Francisco received multiple telephone calls claiming that hostages were being held inside Mosseri’s home. He local SWAT team descended on his house. There was a prolonged standoff. Finally the SWAT team realized that the calls were pranks, hoaxes. The same thing happened at his home in New York.

The attacks on Mosseri and his family were highlighted in a New York Times, January 23, 2020, referring to the growing trend of these retaliatory attacks, spawned by anonymous trolls in dark-web forums. These are apparently disgruntled social media users who target executives for swattings as payback for their accounts being shut down or suspended for hate speech and other online offenses.

Similar swatting attacks involving tech executives have happened around the Bay Area and Seattle in the last year or two, prompting Seattle to launch a registry for potential swatting victims – those who sign up will receive a phone call to their home by police if and when a call comes in reporting a hostage situation or something similar.

An unnamed Facebook executive was the target of such an attack in January 2019, prompting a major police response. As the Mercury News reported, the caller in that case claimed to be the executive and said that he had shot his wife, tied up his kids, and was armed with pipe bombs that he was ready to use on officers. The situation was diffused quickly after the “bewildered” executive and his family came out of the house peacefully. The police recognized it had been a hoax.

And those posting in online forums say things about the executives like “they think they are god,” as the New York Times notes, and regularly express bitterness about being kicked off platforms.

These pranks are not harmless. A 28-year-old man, Andrew Finch, was killed in a swatting incident in Wichita, Kansas in December 2017. He was shot outside his home by a Wichita officer who believed Finch was lowering his hands toward his waist, possibly reaching for a weapon, after having his hands raised. Finch was an online gamer, and the culprit in the swatting was believed to be a fellow gamer. Swatting has become a form of revenge against gamers in the last decade.

As of yet, there is no federal law against swatting, and the attacks can be launched from anywhere without much fear of getting caught. “Anyone can be at risk of being swatted, but people who work in tech are at a particular risk,” says Chief Carmen Best of the Seattle Police Department. “We have to get a foothold on this, before more people get hurt.”

Modern day swatting is a matter of just simply trying to get even for a real or imagined wrong that is been done. Shemei was an ancient swatter. In his day rather than calling out SWAT teams, Shimei cursed, threw stones, and dirt at King David and his entourage.

Shimei was indignant and felt wronged. He was in an obnoxious mood. He blamed David for the death of Saul. He felt that David had stolen the kingdom from him. The simple fact that the Father had taken kingdom from Saul, because of his sins and disobedience, and given it to David, totally eluded him. He was outraged and seeking revenge. He cursed David, throwing rocks and dirt at him and his Mighty Men. David of course was totally safe having an armed escort of mighty men surrounding him (2 Samuel 16:6).

Shimei calls David a “man of blood,” a murderer and a scoundrel. He warns David that his sins will be punished (2 Samuel 16:7-8).

REFLECT & PRAY

None of the Father’s children are in the revenge business. Revenge is in His hands.

Father thank you that I can entrust myself to You and leave all of the circumstances of my life, good or bad, in Your safekeeping.

INSIGHT

When you are swatted, how should you respond? How do you cope when other people curse you or mistreat you? David’s men had a simple plan. Execute Shemei and be done with it.

2 Samuel 16:9 “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. “Let me go over and cut off his head!”

That would certainly solve the problem at hand. But it was not the Father’s will for David to take his own revenge

2 Samuel 16:10 “No!” the king said. “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the LORD has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?”

David was willing to just take it all in stride. He put it in perspective and his reasoning was sound. David had a troubled past and now he was paying the price. David’s thought that perhaps the Father has told Shimei to curse him. David realized that perhaps he had brought it on himself. “Also, perhaps David remembered the death of Uriah and realized that Shimei’s accusations were not entirely without foundation” (MacDonald).

2 Samuel 16:11-12

 11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to do it.

 12 And perhaps the LORD will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.”

David reasoned if Absalom, David’s own son, was out to kill him, why should a total stranger be punished for slandering the king and throwing things at him? David had faith that the Father would one day balance the books and take care of people like Absalom and Shimei. (Weirsbe)

David’s attitude was, “When people throw lemons at you, make lemonade rather than retaliate.”

A lesser man would have given the order to silence Shimei’s tongue, but David left such judgments in the Father’s hands. Perhaps he remembered the Father’s words: “Vengeance is Mine, and retribution” (Deuteronomy 32:35) (Stanley). “David was exhausted and discouraged, and yet he never rose to greater heights than when he allowed Shimei to go on attacking him” (Weirsbe).  

The Father restrained David from taking his own revenge. But eventually revenge was arranged. It is almost like a precursor to “The Godfather.” In his dying words, David, put out a hit on Shemei. He told Solomon, “You are a wise man, and you will know how to arrange a bloody death for him” (1 Kings 2:9).

Because of his bad decisions and failure to do the right thing by Absalom, David lost his throne, but the Father God kept His promises to David and Solomon became the next king.

The Father remembered David and all the afflictions and suffering that he endured (Psalm 132:1).

The Father continues to remember each of His children. Nothing is unplanned and nothing is unnoticed. The Father will have His way in the end.

\◠:◠/

2 thoughts on “Shimei the first SWATter

  1. I never thought it was right for David to put a hit out on Shimei after he had told him that he pardoned him. What do you think? I’ve never liked that about David.

    Like

  2. It was common for the new administration to “clean house.”
    When David began his reign, he got it right and protected Saul’s line – 2 Samuel 9:8-13 and protected and honored Mephibosheth.
    2 Samuel 21:7 The king spared Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth, who was Saul’s grandson, because of the oath David and Jonathan had sworn before the LORD.

    But David was hardly the same man at the time of his death.
    Age and pain took their toll.

    The blood would not be on David’s hands but Solomon’s if he followed through.
    A lot of rationalization I suppose,

    I do not want to end up like David.
    I decided long ago not to die a bitter old man. That continues to be my goal.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: