UNDERSTANDING God’s ‘ROLE’ in OUR TROUBLES
April 4 Bible Reading: 2 Samuel Chapters 16-18
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." (2 Sam 16:11-12)
In his best known psalm, David had confidently stated the following: "I will fear no evil" (Psalms 23:4). He did not purposely state “I will face no evil”, since David’s life was rocked with numerous troubles to came to him one after the other. First, he had to run for his life because his own son Absalom, whom he had forgiven and reinstated back in his life, had rebelled against him. Then, his longtime counselor and friend, Ahithophel, had joined forces with Absalom. Right after hearing this terrible news, David met Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, who told him—falsely as it turned out (19:24–30)—that Mephibosheth also had gone over to Absalom (16:1–4). To add insult to injury, Shimei a relative of Saul met David’s company and not only heaped verbal abuse at David but threw stones at them as well…!!!
However, David understood God’s role in his troubles, and his reaction was to assume that God may have ordered Shimei to curse David. After all, as a member of Saul’s clan, Shimei had more cause to seek David’s life than his own son Absalom. It was also possible that David remembered Uriah’s murder through his order, and realized that he deserved these troubles and even more. David recognized that his own general sinfulness certainly qualified him to receive such a cursing from Shimei. Knowing that that whole incident could be of God’s doing, David forbade retaliation and hoped that God would look upon his repentant heart and render a blessing to compensate for Shimei’s curse!
Thus, David humbly accepted Shimei’s wicked cursing as God’s judgment and left all matters with God. If the cursing was unjust, then God would repay David with good (16:12). David’s ready submission to God’s judgment was consistent with his character (12:20–23; 15:26). We know that Shimei later apologized (2 Sam. 19:18–23). On his deathbed, David put a limit on his mercy, and Solomon had Shimei executed when he violated his terms (1 Kings 2:8–9, 36–46).
The lesson that we can learn is that nothing happens in our lives without the knowledge of God. When David faced compounded troubles, he squarely faced them with the confidence that God would bring out something good through his troubles. God doesn't allow troubles into our lives for our destruction but only for our instruction. God chooses what we go through but we choose how we go through it. There are times when silence and submission to God’s will are our best responses to the troubles that come in our way!