How do circumstances impact your journey of faith? Have you been through anything lately that reminded you of a particular consequence for a past failure or sin? Do you treat people differently because they are nice to you, or because they are typically rude and unresponsive? Is there consistency in your attitude of service, or do people avoid talking with you during challenging times in your life? Circumstances will always be changing and there will always be valleys waiting just around the corner of recent victories. David understood what it meant to be victorious in battle and in the eyes of Almighty God. He also knew, perhaps more closely, the valleys in life that seem unending and dark.
This week at Redeemer, we will be considering David’s Enemies, from 2 Samuel 16. It’s hard to image what David is going through. His son has seemingly evacuated him from his throne and now he is on the run. He first meets up with a fellow who seems to be seeking out the best for David. We learn later that Ziba was actually deceiving the king for his own gain. David then meets up with someone who is cursing him and throwing dirt and stones at him! What a welcome! Despite the zeal of his companions, David exhibits mercy and recognizes that much of what this foul man accuses him of is in fact true. David has been humbled and broken by his sin and is ready to seek the Lord’s justice, instead of his own.
I wonder how you react when someone wrongs you? Do you immediately begin to think of the shortcomings of that person, or the ways in which you are spiritually superior to him or her? How should we respond to those who hate us and hurl insults at us for the sake of the Gospel? Many believe that this incident inspired David to write Psalm 7. Take note of David’s introspection when he is cursed in Psalm 7:3-5:
O LORD my God, if I have done this, if there is wrong in my hands, 4 if I have repaid my friend with evil or plundered my enemy without cause, 5 let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it, and let him trample my life to the ground and lay my glory in the dust. Selah
How do you respond to your enemies? Consider the words of the Lord Jesus, who said:
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matt. 5:11-12)