Listen to the words recorded for us in 2 Samuel 16: 5-8. “Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!” he shouted at David. “The Lord is paying you back for murdering King Saul and his family (that was a lie); you stole his throne (another lie) and now the Lord has given it to your son (that’s a third lie—the Lord never gave David’s son the throne; Absalom took the throne!) At last you will taste some of your own medicine…you murderer!” After his (David’s sin) of adultery and murder was exposed by Nathan, part of the consequences consisted of family members rising up against the new king. David is mourning the loss of Tamar’s innocence, Amnon’s death and now Absalom’s rebellion. If that weren’t bad enough, he now has to deal with this heckler. Shemei was your typical louse. He was the kind of person who had no problem kicking someone when they were down.
Ever encountered someone like that? You’re at the very ultimate, lowest pit. You’re world is crumbling; falling apart and along comes a Shemei and BOOM! He/she starts hurling insults, cursing and accusing David of things he had never done. That day must have been difficult for David, but cooler heads prevailed. I’ve not always been successful in maintaining my cool when I know someone has wronged me, but the times I have remained level-headed went much better for me. If we’re going to be used by God we need to develop softer hearts and thicker skin. Others may feel validated by dropping slanderous innuendos our way, especially when we’ve had a bad day. Remind yourself; you’re in good company. They railed our Lord and Master too but, thank God, thicker skin and a softer heart prevailed.
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you!
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.