2 Samuel 16 — This almost seems to be making a mockery of David’s great exploit against Goliath. Shimei comes throwing stones at David and his servants (v. 6), almost as if to say something like, “Who’s the Philistine now?!!” Why is David so quick to think that the LORD has endorsed this cursing (vv. 10-12)? Sure, Shimei keeps invoking the LORD’s name (v. 8) but so what? Where is the proof that he was inspired to say what he said? And Absalom’s sleeping with his father’s concubines (v. 21-22) is just as much a violation of the law (Lev. 18:8; 20:11; Deut. 22:30; 27:20) as what Amnon did (it appears in the same list of sins!). But I’ve read that laying with a king’s concubine was as good as an usurping the throne itself. It’s clear that this was Absalom’s intention.
2 Samuel 17 — I can imagine David impersonating Hannibal Smith and saying, “I love it when a plan comes together.” This was David’s scheme in 2 Sam. 15:32-37 and it worked. It’s a shame that Ahithophel killed himself though (v. 23). That was a pretty harsh (and permanent) reaction.
2 Samuel 18 — David has more patience for his son and mercy than I think I could have if I was in the same position. He wants his son—the same son who is seeking to kill him in order to take his throne—protected (v. 5)? What?!! Now Joab on the other hand reacts more like I probably would have in a similar circumstance (v. 14-15). But then again, David’s reaction to the news of his son’s death seems entirely appropriate (v. 33).