by: Pastor Joey Vazquez
2 Samuel 16:11-12 (NLT) Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.”
One day, King David found himself running from his own son, Absalom. Absalom had been conspiring for a while to win the hearts of the people of Israel and after he felt that he had enough support, he made his move. He intended to kill his father to solidify his hold on the throne. As David was fleeing from his son with a contingent of his followers and supporters, including the king's officers and mighty warriors, a man named Shimei, who was from the clan of David's predecessor, King Saul, began throwing rocks at David and raining down curses at him. It makes you wonder what was in this man's mind, as he apparently wasn't considering that David's men might want to do something about his great lack of respect for the king. As you would expect, one of David's army leaders was going to kill Shimei for daring to curse the king, but David responded with the words above. In David's mind, it was no time to get revenge. He was more caught up with the fact that his own son was trying to kill him than with the ire of a man who apparently wanted to add to his grief. But what is very curious is that David said that the Lord had told Shimei to do it.
In understanding the way that the Bible phrases things like this, this more likely means that God was allowing Shimei to curse David. To David, as is apparent in his many psalms, he considered God to be his protector and defender. He credited the Lord for all of his successes and victories so in his mind, God was telling Shimei to do it. If that is the case, why would God do that? It's because it is necessary for us to experience opposition sometimes. When someone only receives praise and adulation, that tends to produce a great amount of pride in us. Pride is the foundation of our sinful nature and that's why God strongly opposes it. The Bible speaks many times about how God opposes the proud. There is nothing that can humble you quicker than someone cursing you, especially when you are already down and out because of life's circumstances. David's position was that maybe the Lord would turn his situation around because of His compassion for the tongue-lashing that he was receiving. Because David had an intimate relationship with God, he understood how God worked. He knew that had he taken revenge on Shimei himself, then the Lord would have also let him figure his own way out of the situation with Absalom, which was very dire. David decided to entrust himself yet again to God for his situation.
God is sovereign, and when you are determined to be in His will, sometimes unfortunate events occur, including encountering people like Shimei who add insult to injury when things aren't going well for you. I have learned that it is good to get a good insult once in a while, so that I would not ever start to think too highly of myself. Once, after spending many hours on multiple days (including my day off) counseling a married couple that was on the verge of breaking up, the husband suddenly lashed out at me to let me know what he really thought about me. It was not pretty. At first, I started to get angry at him and was going to let him have it, but I felt the Lord speaking to my heart saying, "Just take it. Let him say all that he is going to say and don't respond in kind." At the end of the tirade, I just asked the brother to forgive me if he felt that I had failed him. It was a very humbling situation, but afterwards I knew that it was necessary for me to endure it, because it made me lean on Jesus more. So, when you encounter an insult or some injustice from someone, let God be your defender. As you trust the Lord even with that kind of situation, He will take care of that situation and more. David was restored to his position as king and had the victory because he even relied on God to defend him against a person of no significance cursing him. The Apostle Paul learned that secret as well, saying that he delighted in insults and persecutions because he found that it was when he was weak that he was strong in God's power (2 Corinthians 12:10). Let the power and the protection of God rest on you as you trust God for everything, even an insult.
Pastor Joey Vazquez