During my teen years, my father and I used to watch gangster movies together. We’d watch for hours and hours at a time. One of which was the Godfather. After seeing the scene where Don Corleone tells Michael that whoever brings him a meeting is a trader, I soon saw how their lives correlate with King David and Solomon. One day, I just so happened to be reading 1 Kings 2. This was when King David was on his deathbed and was charging his son to, ‘be strong and prove [himself] a man’ and to, ‘keep [his] word’. But then it turns a little Godfather-ish because the king starts to tell him what to do with his once trusted right hand lieutenant, Joab. The two had fought alongside and respected one another. But somewhere along the way, Joab became the king’s enemy which resulted in David telling his son to ‘do according to your wisdom, and…not let his gray hair go down to the grave in peace.’
There was another scene, before his death, where Don Corleone begins to impart gangster wisdom by telling Michael how that world operates. But before there was an underworld, there was the kingdom of David, who too, imparted wisdom into his son Solomon, the soon-to-be king (don). In verses 8,9 we find David telling Solomon to do what he thought was right to one of his enemies by the name of Shimei. Shimei was from the house of Saul, his predecessor, of whom David swore to ‘not touch’. Meaning, even when Saul had a bounty out for him, David swore to never kill him or anyone in his family, which is why on his deathbed, he brings that incident to his son’s attention when he says, ‘And see, you have with you Shimei…who cursed (disrespected) me….but…I swore to him by the Lord, saying, ‘I will not put you to death….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.” David kept his word. He didn’t kill him. But this is what Solomon does.
Wisdom Over Revenge Even though his father told him to bring his gray hair down to the grave with blood, Solomon uses the wisdom that he had prayed and asked God for when he tells Shimei, ‘…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.” This is the wisdom of God. You see, Solomon knew this man was not going to be able to stay in Jerusalem for two reasons. One, this man was known for his disrespect, therefore he knew he wouldn’t respect his command. Secondly, Shimei probably thought, ‘Well okay. I won’t. I thought you were going to kill me for sure. But cool. I’ll stay here.’ But again, Solomon knew he wouldn’t be able to because this was the same man who had gone out of his way – at his own expense – to curse David. He’d made a special trip to speak against his father. Because Solomon honored his father, he too did not touch Shimei; but instead used wisdom.
When It's Time for Vengeance
Hebrews 10:30 says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay.” There is a way that God will allow you to keep your hands clean when it’s time to see vengeance exacted on your enemies. Proverbs 24:17 says, ‘Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and do not let your heart be glad when he stumbles; lest the Lord see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.’ When that time comes, just remember that vengeance belongs to God; not you which means when it does, you have to keep your hands, keys (byway of posts talking about karma) and mouth off your enemies and let God the Father do what He does.
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