From 2 Samuel 16-18
In today’s passage David is cursed by a man named Shimei. Shimei is throwing stones at him and his men. His men offer to kill the man, but David puts up with it. How do you deal with being mocked and persecuted by others?
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comments
David is on the run from his son Absalom who has won the hearts of the people and made himself king. On the way there are some people who begin to heckle him.
5 When King David came to Bahurim, there came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera, and as he came he cursed continually. 6 And he threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David, and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. 7 And Shimei said as he cursed,
“Get out, get out, you man of blood, you worthless man! 8 The LORD has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned, and the LORD has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. See, your evil is on you, for you are a man of blood.” (2 Sam 16.5-8)
David and his men are being peppered with stones and cursed by a man named Shimei who comes from the house of Saul. You may remember the hostilities between David’s and Saul’s households.
Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Have you ever been ridiculed?
David was probably called a ‘man of blood’ because of the unfortunate deaths of several people in Saul’s household. He was being blamed for the deaths of Abner and Ish-Bosheth (2 Sam 3-4) at least. (Carson, D.A. et al. eds., 1994. New Bible commentary: 21st century edition 4th ed., Leicester, England; Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press.)
9 Then Abishai the son of Zeruiah said to the king, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and take off his head.”
10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’ ”
11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. 12 It may be that the LORD will look on the wrong done to me, and that the LORD will repay me with good for his cursing today.” (2 Sam 16.9-12)
We don’t know whether the cursing was from the LORD or not. David humbly accepts the ridicule. He does so in the hope the LORD will bring justice to the situation. If he is being cursed and ridiculed unfairly, the LORD will balance the scales by doing good to him in return.
How do you respond to ridicule and cursing?
13 So David and his men went on the road, while Shimei went along on the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went and threw stones at him and flung dust. 14 And the king, and all the people who were with him, arrived weary at the Jordan. And there he refreshed himself. (2 Sam 16.13-14)
The journey continues. David and his men put up with the ongoing tirade for some time. But are eventually given a reprieve. Being cursed was not easy. David takes the opportunity to refresh himself.
David has needed refreshing before (1 Sam 30.6). He will bear up under this persecution and eventually the LORD will restore his kingdom to him. His response to the situation reveals his ongoing faith in the LORD and submission to his will.
Not even Jesus was exempt from being ridiculed and mocked. In the gospel he was well aware it would happen. He predicted it.
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. 34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.” (Mk 10.32-34)
Paul predicts all who desire to be godly will experience persecution as well.
10 You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, 11 my persecutions and sufferings that happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra—which persecutions I endured; yet from them all the Lord rescued me. 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it (2 Tim 3.10-14)
The presence of cursing, mocking and persecution may be difficult and may shock you. The scriptures remind us it is part of the lives of those who seek to remain faithful to God.
Pray for those who are experiencing persecution. Pray for strength if you are experiencing it yourself.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2016. All Rights Reserved.