28 Now the news came to Joab, for Joab had followed Adonijah, although he had not followed Absalom. And Joab fled to the tent of the Lord and took hold of the horns of the altar. 29 It was told King Solomon that Joab had fled to the tent of the Lord, and behold, he is beside the altar. Then Solomon sent Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, saying, “Go, fall upon him.” 30 So Benaiah came to the tent of the Lord and said to him, “Thus the king has said, ‘Come out.’” But he said, “No, for I will die here.” And Benaiah brought the king word again, saying, “Thus spoke Joab, and thus he answered me.” 31 The king said to him, “Do as he has spoken and fall upon him and bury him, that you may remove from me and from my father’s house the blood which Joab shed without cause. 32 The Lord will return his blood on his own head, because he fell upon two men more righteous and better than he and killed them with the sword, while my father David did not know it: Abner the son of Ner, commander of the army of Israel, and Amasa the son of Jether, commander of the army of Judah. 33 So shall their blood return on the head of Joab and on the head of his [t]descendants forever; but to David and his [u]descendants and his house and his throne, may there be peace from the Lord forever.” 34 Then Benaiah the son of Jehoiada went up and fell upon him and put him to death, and he was buried at his own house in the wilderness. 35 The king appointed Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in his place, and the king appointed Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.
36 Now the king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Build for yourself a house in Jerusalem and live there, and do not go out from there to any place. 37 For on the day you go out and cross over the [v]brook Kidron, you will know for certain that you shall surely die; your blood shall be on your own head.” 38 Shimei then said to the king, “The word is good. As my lord the king has said, so your servant will do.” So Shimei lived in Jerusalem many days.
39 But it came about at the end of three years, that two of the servants of Shimei ran away to Achish son of Maacah, king of Gath. And they told Shimei, saying, “Behold, your servants are in Gath.” 40 Then Shimei arose and saddled his donkey, and went to Gath to Achish to look for his servants. And Shimei went and brought his servants from Gath. 41 It was told Solomon that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath, and had returned. 42 So the king sent and called for Shimei and said to him, “Did I not make you swear by the Lord and solemnly warn you, saying, ‘You will know for certain that on the day you depart and go anywhere, you shall surely die’? And you said to me, ‘The word which I have heard is good.’ 43 Why then have you not kept the oath of the Lord, and the command which I [w]have laid on you?” 44 The king also said to Shimei, “You know all the evil which [x]you acknowledge in your heart, which you did to my father David; therefore the Lord shall return your evil on your own head. 45 But King Solomon shall be blessed, and the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever.” 46 So the king commanded Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and he went out and fell upon him so that he died.
Thus the kingdom was established in the hands of Solomon.
With Joab, David had already tried to remove him from his position, but then Joab killed the very man who was to replace him. So it was up to Solomon to carry out judgment on Joab for his crimes. Like it or not, there are consequences for our actions, even when we think we’ve gotten away with something.
Shimei found a similar truth, as he promised Solomon that he would remain in Jerusalem. The very fact that two of his servants ran away should be clue enough, but then he left without a word to Solomon. Shimei may have been granted permission to go to Gath if he had only requested it. But it becomes clear that his intention was only to obey Solomon so long as it suited him, and it no longer suited him when he had runaway servants.
In the end, his broken promise was discovered, and his treachery was brought on his own head. And though these may seem severe punishments, they were afforded grace a great many years, only to forfeit it by their own actions.
God gives us even more grace than either David or Solomon afforded anyone, yet there are still consequences for our actions. It thus becomes even more important to follow God’s plan, and follow His way in all we do. We can never know the impact our actions have, though at times we may have some idea based on past experience, or that of others. It is selfish and short-sighted to think that your actions only affect you. No one is so isolated to make that claim, and we ought always to be cognizant of the potential impact our actions will have on others.
The only cure for such ills is to follow God’s plan, for He knows the future, and He has a plan for our lives, and for our good. If only we will seek His face, and follow His way.