2 Samuel 16:12 “Perhaps the LORD will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead of Shimei’s curses today.”
I had never taken a collection from the poor at one of our chapel times, except for this once. But the need was great and they were no less excited about the opportunity than I was. It was to purchase some property beside us for the future of a long term drug/alcohol rehab center. The city owned the property and was selling it by a sealed bid process. We turned our bid in and learned there was another bidder! The day came when the bids were opened and we celebrated to learn that we had out-bid our competitor by 7000 dollars. But a few weeks later, a letter arrived in the mail from the city manager stating they were rescinding the sale of the property. Without going into all the details, my discovery of the specifics left me to believe that the fiasco was the epitome of corrupt politics.
It was one of the most difficult times for me in ministry. I felt unwanted, disliked and unheard. I came close to hiring a legal team in Kansas City to sue the city. I wanted justice.
Does anything rouse us more than being picked on when we’re the underdog and have done nothing wrong? It may be the greatest fuel for revolt. It’s the reason Peter picked up the sword on the night of Jesus’ arrest. It was the reason James and John wanted to call down fire from heaven. And I’m sure there was something in David that day as he was being cursed by Shimei that wanted to yell, “Off with his head!”
We all want justice. But whose justice is it?
We’ve all experienced times when we’re the underdog, unjustly persecuted, a victim of someone else’s sin. And in those moments, it’s easy for us to begin layering on the armor of a prosecutor, and then the layer of a defense attorney and finally the layer of judge. But consider that the Holy Spirit does a better job of conviction that any prosecutor, Jesus does a better job of interceding than any defense attorney and our Father in heaven, the author of justice, is a more perfect judge in every situation.
It’s His Justice.
David’s action in this passage teaches us; He is the One to turn to in the midst of persecution, betrayal and defeat. We, too, should say “Perhaps the Lord will see my affliction and restore goodness to me instead.”
David is a great model of a guy who never tried to work it out on his own. If he was up against a giant, he trusted God. If he was surrounded by enemies, he cried out to God. If he was guilty, he repented to God. And in this case, he was cursed and afflicted, but instead of retaliating, he waited on God. What a model of God-dependence. Let’s model it, too.