2 Samuel 16-18

2 Samuel 16-18…David’s trust in the Lord

In these chapters we read of King David being cursed by Shimei. This happened while David was fleeing from his son Absalom, who wanted to kill him.

Unlike David, we often want to silence our critics, insist on fairness, and defend ourselves. But as we grow in our awareness of God’s protective love, we become less concerned with what others say about us and more willing to entrust ourselves to our Father. Like David, we can say of each critic, “Let him alone, and let him curse” (2 Samuel 16:11). This is humble submission to God’s will.

We may ask our opponents to justify their charges, or we may counter them with steadfast denial. Or, like David, we can wait patiently until God vindicates us.

It is good to look beyond those who oppose us and look to the One who loves us with infinite love. It is good to be able to believe that whatever God permits is for our ultimate good—good, though we’re exposed to the curses of a Shimei; good, though our hearts break and we shed bitter tears.

You are in God’s hands, no matter what others are saying about you. He has seen your distress, and in heaven He’ll repay you for the cursing you have received. So trust Him and abide in His love.

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1 Samuel 23-25

1 Samuel 23-25…David shows mercy to Saul.

In these chapters, David is given an unexpected opportunity to end his misery. While he and his men are hiding in a cave, Saul himself enters. It would be a simple matter for David to strike Saul down. But David refuses, saying, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord” (1 Samuel 24:6). David’s trust in God’s promises is running high. He has not forgotten that Saul is pursuing him in an effort to kill him. But he also is aware that Saul was anointed as king, a sign that God had designated him to rule, and David will not presume to topple from the throne one whom God put there. While he, too, has been anointed to the throne, he realizes that he must wait to wear the crown until such time as God chooses. And so he allows Saul to go on his way.

When times are difficult, the temptation can be strong to rely on our own wisdom. That may lead us to take actions contrary to God’s revealed will. The faithful Christian will not “cut corners” but will do things God’s way even when it isn’t easy. In which areas of your life are you facing difficulties? What would God have you do?