2 Samuel 16:5 When King David (on the run from his own son Absalom) came to Bahurim, a man of the family of the house of Saul came out whose name was Shimei son of Gera; he came out cursing. 6 He threw stones at David and at all the servants of King David; now all the people and all the warriors were on his right and on his left. 7 Shimei shouted while he cursed, “Out! Out! Murderer! Scoundrel! 8 The Lord has avenged on all of you 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, disaster has overtaken you; for you are a man of blood.” 9 Then Abishai 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 David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord has bidden him. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on my distress, and the Lord will repay me with good for this cursing of me today.”
The man Shimei was throwing stones and cursing David because Shimei was from the tribe of Benjamin, as was the former king Saul. Saul’s people resented the fact that the throne did not stay within the tribe of Benjamin upon Saul’s death, but was given by God to David who was of the tribe of Judah. In Shimei’s mind, David was getting what he had coming to him.
Now, as a king (even a king on the run) David had military assets at his disposal. One of David’s advisers named Abishai wanted to take the cursing man out. Putting up with such insults made David look weak to those around him. This is completely understandable and a problem most of us would likely want dealt with immediately. But David wasn’t particularly concerned with what other people thought. He was far more concerned with how God viewed the situation. In David’s mind the man’s insults were an extension of God’s punishment for David’s acts against Bathsheba and her husband Uriah. As a servant of God, David needed to take his medicine rather than eliminate it.
This is one of the things I admire most about David. He’s definitely a flawed human being like the rest of us, but he has great confidence in the Lord. Throughout scripture, there are times when David refuses to fight his enemies and instead stands down to allow God to protect him. He could act on his own behalf, but chooses not to – as a sign of faith and confidence in his relationship with God. It’s his way of honoring the prayer, “Lord not my will, but your will be done”.
Lord give me a heart that trusts you as David did. Amen.