2 Sam. 16:12
ďPerhaps the Lord will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day.Ē
The news of conspiracy reached king David. He has just been informed that his own son (Absalom) has won the hearts of the men of Israel, and their coming to take the Kingdom. David does what he does best. He gathers his faithful servants and flees...
As David leaves Jerusalem with his caravan of misfits, ( Sorry, royal army ) the news travels fast. And as my dad use to say, ď what is bad news to some, may be good news to othersĒ. Well the news find its way to a man name Shimei, son of Gera, from the house of Saul, a Benjamite of Bahurim. He hears of Davidís demise and as David enters Bahurim, Shimei is first in line to greet him! At first glance it seems this Shimei character is a complete mad man. Not all there! You know the type I mean. The guy that walks down the street talking furiously to..? Maybe he was crazy who knows? Or maybe he was a victim himself at some point and this was his chance to get back at the man in charge? In any case, what I found interesting about this story is the heart of two men from opposite sides of the street. And the choices they made.
Shimei: Out of a heart of anger, bitterness, and pain took full advantage of the situation and saw it as a way of revenge. Lacking the fear of God, he takes matters into his own hands and curses Israelís leader. (Ex.22:12) Cursing a leader is a no no.
David: Out of a heart of humility, mercy and trust took full advantage of the situation and allowed the affliction to continue as a sign of submission to his God. Walking in the fear of God, David turns the other cheek allowing his men to neither defend him or even silence the cursing.
Why would God ask us to submit to such treatment? Iím not sure there is a simple answer, but for me the key is trust. If I trust Him, really trust Him my actions will display a willing submission to Godís ways. Its then my real struggle begins to show. If I submit to the flesh and seek revenge, my actions lead to the death of anything good happening from the situation. On the other hand, if I submit to Godís ways and turn the other cheek there is death of my flesh (pride) and though I may not see the results immediately, the eyes of my heart begin to see the problem in a new light. Discernment comes from walking in His truth. When we refuse to play the same way the world plays people take notice. When we remain at peace when men revile us or hate us they lose their precious ammunition of hatred and bitterness. It becomes ineffective. Its then the kingdom of God comes into the picture and begins to change the heart of man and bring people to Christ. It seems a high price to pay for those who hates us... but, isnít that what He did for us?
Father, thank you for sharing with us the heart of David, a man after your own heart. His life reveals the struggles of a heart surrendered to your ways, yet at the same time we see a freedom in David and a courage to live life to it fullness. You did that for him! I ask that you do that for your people. Teach us your ways, and grant us the courage. Give us eyes to see with a heart that longs to do your will.