Do you remember that children’s rhyme? “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That was the taunt I would use when being bullied. I’m quite sure I wasn’t as bold or brave as King David in almost inviting the ridicule.
Never did I give God credit for the teasing I received. Despite the situation King David finds himself in, he is still clinging to God’s promises and trusting that what he is encountering has God’s stamp of approval on it. Yet he does say, “And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.”
King David makes a good point. This relative of Saul has good reason to be mad at King David and see what happened to Saul as an injustice. When you don’t know the whole story, it’s easy to take sides with your loved ones. Even when you do have that knowledge, we oftentimes support our family members.
David was seemingly able to let Shimei’s words roll right off of him without feeling wronged, hurt, or guilty. The confidence in God that David demonstrates here is commendable. He is truly taking this situation and turning it into a teachable moment for his servants.
Can you think of a time when you have fallen prey to someone’s displeasure? How did it make you feel to hear their words of accusation? It’s hard to take when the allegations are false. What is likely our first reaction? To defend ourselves and retaliate, right?
What did David do? Neither. He simply let Shimei rant and then rant some more. Can we do that? We do know that the Bible says we should let God fight our battles. Exodus 14:14 says, “The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Romans 12:19 says, “Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, ‘I will take revenge; I will pay them back,’ says the Lord.”
We can live free of fear. For God said in Joshua 1:9, “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” We are never alone. God is aware of all that we endure.
Sticks and stones may break my bones, but God’s love will save me from evil. Take time today to think about any persecution you may be feeling because of your faith, or any ridicule you are enduring for standing true to your principles. Pray using these verses and ask for the bravery of King David.
Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for being my biggest fan and never leaving me to fight my own battles. I feel so much more confident and secure knowing that I’m held closely in your loving arms. Give me the assurance I need to withstand any verbal attacks that may come my way. You are my sure foundation. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.