view as web pdf Luapula Regional Grouping

The second CBM Luapula Regional Grouping was held in October covering four ecclesias (Mushota, Mbereshi `Hoist', Kasumpa and Nchelenge) and was attended by 32 members.

Theme: From Jerusalem to Gath

In 1 Sam 16 we saw how Shimei cursed king David as David fled from his son Absalom, who staged a temporary coup upon his father's throne in Jerusalem. Shimei went along the hill opposite king David and hurled insults, stones and dust upon him. But king David restrained his men from destroying this insolent man and accepted the insults. It came to pass when David was returning to Jerusalem after the death of Absalom. Shimei was the first to welcome him and apologised for his wrong-doing; David accepted his apology and Shimei was not put to death! Was that apology genuine? I think not. As the saying states: "Actions speak louder that words." I like to believe that David did not think so either, because he told his successor, his son Solomon, to see to it that Shimei did not die a peaceful death (1 Kings 2:8,9).

When Solomon was established in his father's throne, he called Shimei and reminded him about the insults he shouted at his father David. Then Solomon told him that he would not do him any harm if he would be found sincere in his doings. Solomon gave Shimei a simple command; he was very quick and happy to say to king Solomon, "What you say is good. Your servant will do as my lord the king has said." And Shimei stayed in Jerusalem for a long time (1 Kings 2:30).

But after three years, when two of his servants ran away to Gath, Shimei went after them, leaving

Jerusalem and going to Gath. He thought that leaving Jerusalem temporarily was no problem to the king. Remember that Gath was one of the Gentiles' cities where God's enemies lived. One such enemy was the giant, called Goliath, whom David killed when he was insulting God. This is where Shimei went! I like to think that he went to learn more insults from that city to insult Solomon as he had insulted his father David.

When Solomon was told that Shimei had gone from Jerusalem to Gath and returned, the king summoned Shimei and said to him: "Did I not make you swear by the Lord and warn you, on the day you leave to go anywhere else, you can be sure you will die? At that time you said to me, `What you say is good.' I warned you, then you did not keep your oath to the Lord and obey the command I gave you." The king also said to Shimei, "You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the Lord will repay you for your wrongdoing. But King Solomon will be blessed, and David's throne will remain for ever, secured before the Lord." Then the king gave the order and Benaiah son of Jehoiada, and he went out and struck Shimei down and killed him. The kingdom was now firmly established in Solomon's hands (1 Kings 2:41-46).

We all know what we are waiting for: the return of our Lord and Master Jesus Christ to come and set up the kingdom of God. This will be centred on Jerusalem. While we await this to happen, we are eagerly hoping to be gathered there ­ any time soon. But in the meantime we are urged to behave as citizens of that kingdom (Heb 12:22-25).

We are not physically living in that city of God because God does not live in concrete structures. We are only doing that in faith and by obedience to do His will. As the ecclesia, we are that spiritual city wherein God dwells. As such, we are expected to live exemplary lives befitting those who can live with God. If we try and leave this city, King Jesus will destroy us because we have sworn to him in baptism that we will always live in spiritual Jerusalem. If we leave by disobeying his command, we will die but the kingdom will be firmly established in his hands (1 Kings 2:46).

Bro John Kasanda (Kazembe, Zambia)

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