Humbled By Haters

And David said to Abishai and all his servants, “See how my son who came from my own body seeks my life. How much more now may this Benjamite? Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the Lord has ordered him. It may be that the Lord will look on my affliction, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing this day.”

And as David and his men went along the road, Shimei went along the hillside opposite him and cursed as he went, threw stones at him, and kicked up dust.

2 Samuel 16:11-13

Sometimes, God sends haters to test our hearts.

In this text, we find that the king-David remains the shepherd-David at heart — and what a delight to behold! As his own son, Absalom, amasses an army to overthrow King David, a relative of the former King Saul takes up a vendetta against King David and accuses him of usurping the throne and of wrongdoing against Saul’s household. (All Biblical evidence, as I recall, proves contrary.)

King David’s men are ready to take off this man’s head. Shimei has picked one of David’s worst days, one of his lowest moments, to enact some sort of eager revenge. And King David, with his shepherd’s heart, leaves it in God’s hands. He doesn’t instruct, correct, or threaten the accuser; rather, he submits the moment to God’s will.

This is not David’s first battle scene or his first flight against evil: He knows his Defender.

He also knows that if His Defender has played a move against him, then it is useless to fight against God.

O how far David has come since killing the lion and the bear! Since slaying Goliath with a stone! The shepherd boy who sang songs upon his harp to God now weeps; for his enemies are now the members of his own household, and the family of the prior king — whose throne David did not usurp but was given to him by God — is now treated and accused as the usurper! Our hearts may weep with the shepherd boy, David, but our hearts must also rest all kingships beneath David’s Shepherd’s gaze.

There are many who play this game today, many who believe that battles rely upon the cunning of slight or violence, brands or memes, wit and strength, the riot or protest of one king against another, rather than that every battle belongs to the Lord (1 Sam. 17:47; 2 Chron. 20:15).

Humble yourself, dear soul, when you find yourself in David’s camp: It may be that the Lord will look upon your affliction and repay you with good…

It may be that the Lord is seeking whether a shepherd’s heart remains beneath your kingly garments.

For the day of the Lord upon all nations is near;

As you have done, it shall be done to you;

Your reprisal shall return upon your own head.

Obadiah 1:15-16

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