“’No!’ the king said. ‘Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?'” (2 Samuel 16.10 NLT).
David is fleeing from his son, Absalom, who is trying to steal his kingdom. As David is running for his life, he is openly cursed by Shimei, a descendant of Saul. Shimei accuses David of being bloodthirsty and evil. David’s servant wants to kill Shimei for speaking lies, but David prevents him. David explains that if God has allowed this man to curse him, he won’t stop the will of God. Later, God redeems David, and Shimei begs for forgiveness. Against his advisers, David forgives Shimei and spares his life. In this one situation, God was able to reveal the substance of David’s heart. When chaos occurs, the inner nature of people is exposed. It’s very easy to have strong Christian character when life is going our way; but when everything falls apart, it’s all too simple for us to dive right back into our default setting of selfishness. David demonstrated love, grace and mercy when he chose to ignore and forgive Shemei’s insults. Many times we will be lied about, cursed, deceived, treated unfairly and persecuted; and we must choose to rely on God to be our redeemer. It is hard to give mercy when we are hurt, but we can trust that God is rooting for us to do the right thing–even when we don’t feel like it. But when we finally let go of the pain, God will fill us with His comfort, peace and joy.
“But He [Jesus] turned and rebuked them, and said, ‘You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.’ And they went to another village” (Luke 9.55-56 NKJV).