Tuesday, April 13, 2010

2010 – April 13 – Open to God’s Discipline

Study from God’s Word 2nd Samuel 14: 25 – 33; 2nd Sam. 15: 1 – 37; 2nd Sam. 16: 1 – 14; Psalm 3 … Passage for Reflection: 2nd Samuel 16: 11-12 … NIV 11 David then said to Abishai and all his officials, "My son, who is of my own flesh, is trying to take my life. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him [Shimei, a man from Saul’s clan, who cursed David for taking the throne from Saul years before – called David “A man of blood”] alone; let him curse, for the LORD has told him to. 12 It may be that the LORD will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today."

My Journal for Today: When we receive criticism, how do we react? And if we are in a position of power and someone of lesser power levels strong criticism at us, what would be our default reaction? Well, I suspect that most of us, yours truly included, would be tempted to have the critic immediately belittled or put down in some way.

But not King David in this scenario we read about today. Here we have a man, still angry at David for assuming the kingship from Saul, coming out of the crowd as David travels, throwing rocks and dirt at the King (yes, literal rocks and dirt) and yelling for all to hear that David is a “man of blood.” And though David could have silenced this critic, even having his head cut off; David shows a character trait which our Lord, Jesus, described in Himself as well; and that is MEEKNESS.

Humility and meekness are the only two character traits Jesus ever voiced as describing Whom He was (see Matt. 11: 29 -linked); and in this scenario we see both of these traits in David. And in many respects this is one telling scenario which gives us a clue as to why God described David as a “man after God’s own heart.” Meekness is power kept under harness; … it is power under control. And that’s what we see David exhibiting as this man cursed him and even threw stones at him.

At sometime in our lives, it is likely that we’re going to have someone “throwing stones and dirt” at us, … possibly leveling criticism and maybe even slander our way. How will we react? Will we want to immediately take the critic out of the picture, especially if we have the power to do it? Or will we exercise Christ-like, or even David like, meekness? Will we, as David did, first listen to the critic, especially trying our best to see if there’s any validity to the criticism? That’s what David did when he heard this man, Shimei, vociferously coming against him, even throwing dirt at the King. David even reasoned that perhaps God was in this event, telling David to remain humble and to seek God’s favor. And that’s what David ended up doing as he fled from his own son, Absalom, who had also been politicking and trying to become the King of Israel. David shows remarkable – yes, Christlike – humility and meekness here; and so should we when our enemies come after us with barbs and criticism.

My Prayer for Today: LORD, help me to be like You when I’m criticized. Amen

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