2 Samuel 15:10, 25, 26, 16:12
:10 Then Absalom sent spies through all the tribes of Israel who said, “When you hear the sound of the horn, you may assume that Absalom rules in hebron.
:25”Then the king said to Zadok, “Take the ark of God back to the city. If I find favor in the LORD’s sight he will bring me back and enable me to see both it and his dwelling place again.”
:26 However, if he should say, I do not take pleasure in you”, then He will deal with me in a way that he considers appropriate.”
2 Samuel 16:12
“Perhaps the LORD will notice my affliction and this day grant me good in place of his (Shimei’s) curse.”
When it rains, it pours. Have you ever been slandered and attacked by someone? Relentless in their pursuit, you feel like there is no way you can overcome their lies or abusive behavior. Even worse, they win over all the people around you, grooming them against you. Where is God in that? David knew where God was – sovereign and aware, caring for him.
It was his very own son who was rebelling against him – talk about teenage rebellion of the most severest kind – seeking his father’s life and to reign in his place. (Okay, Absalom was around 29 years old in about 979 BC, but it was still a rebellious son, if not a teenager). Absalom had already killed one sibling previously to gain revenge for that sibling’s sinful behavior, so all bets were on that he would probably follow through, even against his own Dad. I am sure Absalom played the victim card well with smooth words that won over the hearts of most of all Israel. Maybe it was that somehow he was mistreated, maybe it was that he just wanted power. Either way, the undiscerning people were convinced and followed him.
David’s response causes me to sit back in awe of God and the man of God that David was. Humility and surrender. He knew God was in control and would do what He considered was appropriate – but he did not stop there. Weeping and crying out to God, he also set in motion a defense for himself through spies of his own, but then left the results up to God.
Pelted along the way with stones by Shimei during his escape from Absalom, even that curse David accepted, knowing that God saw the affliction. He trusted in His Shepherd’s care of Him, even when it meant walking through dark valleys. Later on, God would restore all Israel to David and Absalom would get his lovely hair caught in a tree, easy prey for David’s men. David still had mercy on his son and was grieved that his life was taken, but parents cannot wipe out consequences for their children’s sins. Just when we think David can breathe again, another insurrection is mounted by Sheba, but God defends David again.
I can relate to this story of King David so much, it hurts. Sometimes you just want to catch a break, and then something else happens. Where is our security, if not in Christ alone? Problems and difficulties are assured, jealous people will envy, and loved ones will betray us, but Christ is everpresent and He is the God who sees.
Why do people have to be a thorn in your life? I don’t know, but I know Christ chose to wear a crown of thorns. He let it happen. He gave His life for those Who hated Him. Oh God, help us to live in such a way – not worried about our popularity or being liked, but desiring to please You.
Lord, I am overwhelmed when I see the grace you gave to David – available to us all! Please help us to surrender our lives completely over to you, knowing full well that you will never forsake us and you never cease loving us. Grant us Your perspective and enable us to walk full of joy before you, even when the rain is coming down.