2 Samuel 17:27 “And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and Barzillai the Gileadite of Rogelim,”
David found himself in the darkest days of his life. Yes, those days were part of his own making because of the sin he committed, but it still didn't make it right for Absalom to take the kingdom from him. The heart of Absalom was evil because he plotted to take the kingdom from his dad and then tried to kill him. Absalom would be a nobody if his dad had not been king of Israel. The whole reason Absalom had any influence was because of his dad’s position; yet, his evil heart never considered this because he was evil.
However, one of the great truths missed in Absalom’s treasonous takeover and David’s exile were those who chose sides. It was in the darkest days of David’s life that he found out who his true friends were, and who were his true enemies. Let me point out a couple of people.
The first character I want to point out was Shimei. Shimei was an opportunistic disloyalist who despised David because he took the throne over Saul’s family. Shimei was a family member of Saul and apparently held contempt in his heart for David the whole time David was popular. However, he had an opportunity to get back at David, and as David was fleeing for his life, Shimei threw stones at him and cursed him because of his hatred for him.
The second group of characters are found in the verse above. Their names are Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai. These men could have easily followed Shimei’s path, but they were loyal to David their leader. They saw that David and his army needed food, water, and bedding, and they provided all of these even though they were putting their lives at stake. These men were more concerned with being a friend than they were with the opportunity of position they could gain if they reported to Absalom that they knew David’s position.
These two different groups of people should cause you to pause and ask yourself into which group you fall. Are you the opportunistic disloyalist who piles on people when they go through battles or low times of their life? Are you the person who tries to kick people when they are at the lowest part of their life or if they have fallen in sin? Let me make this very clear; you are a very evil person if you are the one who casts stones at those who are facing battles and are at a low point in their life.
You ought to want to be a Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai who try to encourage and lift up people in their low times of life. I would rather be a Shobi, Machir, and a Barzillai who refreshes those who are burdened with trials than to be a Shimei who cast stones at people in their battles in the hope of destroying them. You won't be the most popular person if you are a Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai, but you are a true friend. My prayer for you is that you are a Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai.
Let me give you one more piece of advice. You will find both of these groups of people when you go through battles in your life. Don't let the Shimei’s destroy your spirit, but be glad that you have a Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai who encourages you in the low time of your life. Let God deal with the Shimei, and you just revel in the fact that you have friends like Shobi, Machir, and Barzillai.