Wednesday, April 1, 2015

When people throw rocks...

2 Samuel 16:

As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul’s family. He threw stones at the king and the king’s officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him. “Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!” he shouted at David. “The Lord is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul’s clan. You stole his throne, and now the Lord has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!”“Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?” Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. “Let me go over and cut off his head!”10 “No!” the king said. “Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the Lord has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?”11 Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn’t this relative of Saul[b] have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. 12 And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged[c] and will bless me because of these curses today.” 13 So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David.
14 The king and all who were with him grew weary along the way, so they rested when they reached the Jordan River.[d]

This passage of the bible has always meant so much to me. God showed me it when I became the women's home director in Milwaukee. I was under a lot of spiritual attacks by other women in the home, and I couldn't figure out why it was going on or why God was allowing it to happen. I was doing the right things, yet I was being bombarded everyday by people who for whatever reason had it out for me. I wondered why God didn't prevent them from attacking me, why he didn't silence them.  I was innocent. Why wasn't he defending me? Doesn't the bible say that nothing can touch me without God's permission? He could stop them if he wanted to. Why in the world did he want me to go through these attacks? Then he showed me this passage.

If you have spent any time in the old testament, you are probably familiar with the story of King David. The David who fought Goliath, the David who was an adulterer, the David that God called a "man after my own heart", the David who wrote the book of Psalms, the David who Jesus was a descendant of. David was chosen to be the future king of Isreal while the current, wicked king- Saul- was still in place. David entered Saul's service, and was a great help to him. Saul knew that the spirit of God had left him and rested on David, and that David would take his place. Saul was consumed with jealousy and tried to murder David numerous times. David, however, submitted to Saul and was loyal to him even though he knew Saul was seeking his life. Eventually David had to flee from Saul because Saul was actively trying to kill him. David had a chance to murder Saul, and he would have not only stopped Saul from hunting him, but he would have become the next king. He could have easily killed him, and his life would have been easier if he would have. However, David knew not to touch God's anointed. He refused to retaliate against Saul. He was loyal to him until Saul's death- even though Saul treated him horribly. 1 Chronicles 16:22 was his life motto: "Touch not my anointed, and do my prophets no harm."

So loyal, In fact, that David had the man who murdered Saul killed (2 Samuel chapter 1). David was completely innocent in regards to ever coming again Saul. So when this man Shimei- in the passage above- started accusing David of murdering Saul, his accusations were not only totally untrue, but incredibly slanderous. David had suffered much under Saul, and had done the Godly thing anyway.It was a blatant attack on David's character- which is why his men wanted so badly to cut off his head. David was a great man who had taken care of them- as well as Saul- and they loved him so much that their natural reaction was to defend him against this man's unfounded accusations and character assassination.

But look at verses 11 and 12. David told them to  Leave him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to do it. 12 And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged[c] and will bless me because of these curses today.” Did you catch that? He is saying to rejoice when people persecute, slander, accuse, attack, and throw rocks at you, because God will pay back the distress that they have caused you with a blessing. You will end up more blessed after they are done attacking you than you were before. Because God will make up for the unfounded hurt that they have caused you. He will pay back the wrongs that people have done to you with a blessing.

My husband has had a Shimei for a good portion of his life. Someone who goes out of their way to attack, accuse, condemn, and slander him. Someone who is a rock thrower. But my husband has always maintained the attitude that David has in verses 11 and 12. He knows that if he is being attacked, it's because God is going to bless him on the other end of it. This person has spent years attacking him, only for it to backfire. She called his parole officer 15 years ago when he first got saved, and wanted them to revoke his parole, and instead they completely let him off of parole so they didn't have to deal with her phone calls anymore. She has called to report that he owns a gun (which he doesn't), and instead of him getting in trouble, the police took it upon themselves to get his gun rights reinstated. She has called to complain that she wasn't being paid enough back child support, and her doing so made her child support amount be reduced. She has called to complain about his child support for a child who isn't  even hers, and in turn they set his repayment amount to $0. She has filed court papers making false accusations and trying to have him put in jail, and instead she has upset the judges to the point that  she has had injunctions put on her so that she can't ever file again. She has spoken curses on him, and instead God has turned them into blessings. Every war that has ever been waged on him, has ended up for his good and helping him in the end. She, in fact, has a lot to do with why he is as blessed as he is today- not realizing that when you wage war with God and his chosen people, you will always lose, and they will be elevated.

The funny thing is, the more blessed you are, the more the Shimeis in your life will throw rocks , which in turn blesses you more. They get so angry that their attacks aren't working that they try harder and harder, throw more and more rocks, and God blesses you more and more because of the undue distress that they are causing you. They become hard hearted and obsessed with trying to form an attack that will "work." They slip farther away from God, and he draws you nearer. He sees that you are being wronged, and He goes above and beyond to make it right. They can't figure out why the harder they try to make it worse for you, the better it gets for you. The thing is, God weighs the motives of the heart (Proverbs 16:2). If you are doing things out of a pure heart and good intentions like David was with obeying Saul, God sees that. If the person that is attacking you is doing it out of motives of vengeance, hatred, and vindictiveness- he sees that as well. And that is something that he will never honor. Even if their reasoning or excuse for why they are attacking you may be true or valid, if the motives of their heart is evil intent towards you, it will never prosper. God is Holy and Loving and Righteous and Good, and he will never get behind a motive which is hateful, prideful, deceitful, or unforgiving. Even if they have a case against you, He will not honor motives that go against his word, his character, and his commands.

So, that is why God allows rock throwing. Because in the end, we will be better for being attacked. The bible is full of mighty men of God who were viciously attacked, and those attacks made it possible for them to fulfill their destinies. If Joseph wasn't hatefully sold into slavery by his brothers, millions of people would have died because he wouldn't have ever been in his position to store food for Egypt before the famine (Genesis 50).  God allowed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to be thrown into the fire in order to show his glory and saving power. All of the old testament prophets were attacked and persecuted, as well as most of the disciples in the new testament. And, of course, Jesus had unspeakable persecution put on him. But God allowed all of these attacks, and he allows them in our lives too. God uses them to bless us, to strengthen us, to increase our faith, and to get us to our destinies. James 1:2-4 says to "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing", and Job 23:10 says that " he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold"

So, God uses the Shimeis in your life for your benefit, to strengthen your spiritually, and to bless you.  He also uses it for His glory.   Psalms 23: 5 says that God prepares a table for you in the presence of your enemies, where he will anoint you with oil and overflow your cup. You will be blessed abundantly right in front of them, while they are left confused and wondering how things worked out for you the way that they did. God will defend you in a way that you could never defend yourself, and in a way that will make you realize exactly how much God loves you, has your back, and will never forsake you. God may even use it as a way to show himself real to them, because they will know that only God could have made things work out for you the way that they did. Attacks are never fun in the moment, but try to remember that in the end, God is working it out for your good (Romans 8:28). Pray for your enemies, so you guard your heart against becoming bitter and vengeful like theirs Ask God to reveal himself to them, because they don't realize what they're doing- if they did, they would stop. And always remember that once you belong to God- no matter who you were in the past- he has your back. The God who shuts the mouths of lions will shut the mouths of your accusers. 

Psalms 25-
In you, Lord my God,
    I put my trust.
I trust in you;
    do not let me be put to shame,
    nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
    will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
    who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, Lord,
    teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are God my Savior,
    and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
    for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
    and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
    for you, Lord, are good.