David’s own helplessness becomes apparent in chapter 16. First, David’s most trusted and most respected advisor, Ahithophel, went over to Absalom’s side. Second, David didn’t know who to trust. Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth, comes with news that his master has likewise gone over to the dark side. We will discover later that Ziba is just an opportunist. Third, David is bitterly and unreasonably opposed by some of his own people. Shimei was upset that David and the house of Judah had replaced Saul and the house of Benjamin. His objections were unfounded and came from nothing more than deeply felt prejudice – not truth.
But helpless or not, David knows who he is. In his mind, David felt that all these problems might indeed be his own fault as punishment for his sin with Bathsheba. But no matter. David was determined not to make the problem worse. Shimei may have been disrespectful, but he didn’t deserve to die. Sometimes you just have to let events play out, take your lumps, and leave it in God’s hands. That’s what David did, and God did not disappoint. Ahithophel’s good advice, normally regarded as valuable as the word of God (vs. 23) was thwarted by an unexpected source – a Canaanite (Hushai was an “Arkite,” a descendant of Canaan – Genesis 10:17) and David’s throne was secured once more.