Thursday, February 11, 2010

Don't Shoot the Messenger

Don't Shoot the Messenger
Dec 7, 2009
2 Samuel 16:11 ". . . Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to."

King David was entering a city, with all his officials and armed guards, when a strange man came out and insulted David. Yes, even back then, there was someone who didn't agree with the political climate of the day. Except back then, King David had the recommendation of everyone to strike down the naysayer. That's right, if someone said something the king didn't like, more often than not, a king would simply put that person to the sword. This insulter, this heckler, named Shimei, was even so bold as to throw stones and dirt at King David and his men. A person would not dare insult the king, especially with his armed guards ready to strike anyone down. Shimei was bold.

King David did something rather bold, too. Instead of killing the man right there on the spot, David spared his life. King David even went so far as to say that the man who brought the curses down on David was sent by God. David suggested that the heckler was a messenger from God sent to humble him. When David had the power to destroy the man and his criticism, he instead accepted the criticism and allowed it to humble himself.

The other day, I received criticism from someone that is very, very close to me. The other person didn't even intend for the words to insult me, but he hurt rather deeply. I could have interrupted and corrected the person, but I let it go, receiving the words, because maybe there was a degree of truth or validity to his words. Maybe he was even sent by God to deliver those words to humble me.

There are so many insulting situations in life that I would like to put to the sword. If only I was a king and could actually do that. I would get rid of the driver who pulled out in front of me and forced me to slow down. I would get rid of the person at my work place who has nothing good to say about me. I would get rid of my neighbor who frustrates the heck out of me. I would get rid of so many of my current situations, because they insult me, frustrate me, or are simply detestable to me. But, I can't. That's right, I can't. And even if I could, I shouldn't. I should keep my mouth shut and realize that EVERYTHING in my life might actually be from the Lord.

Maybe the car that pulled out in front of me, causing me to slow down, was from the Lord, keeping me from an accident up ahead or a speeding ticket. Maybe the co-worker that irritates me is really God helping me to love the un-lovables. Maybe my neighbor that frustrates the heck out of me is God showing me what is really important in life. The point is, I have no idea which situations are from the Lord or not, but each is an opportunity to view them as such and possibly glean something from it. In the least, I should keep my mouth shut each and every time, because if I complain about it, I might be complaining against the Lord.

King David realized what you and I need to keep in mind. David knew a little secret about about how God works. After David allowed the insults, the next thing he said was, "It may be that the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today." Wow, what perspective David had. If I complain about my insults, my insulting situations, or my cursed experiences, I am deleting the possible reward that God has for me for enduring it. How many rewards have I missed because I couldn't just keep my mouth shut and endure a situation? How many rewards have you missed because you couldn't keep your mouth shut and endure a situation? The next time you'd like to get rid of that insulting situation in life, set aside your pride and view the situation as from the Lord. If it wasn't from the Lord, you might actually receive a blessing from that insult.

1. What insulting situation would you like to put to the sword?
2. How can you view that insulting situation as from the Lord?
3. How can you keep your mouth shut and endure that insulting situation, keeping a possible reward from God for enduring it?

Add. Scriptures for Study: 2 Sam 16, Ecc 12:14, Matt 27:29, Luke 18:32

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