by: Dr. Allen Domelle
2 Samuel 16:13
“And as David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill’s side over against him, and cursed as he went, and threw stones at him, and cast dust.”
While David fled for his life from Absalom’s treasonous act, he came across Shimei, a loyalist to Saul, who cursed and cast stones at him. The servants of David asked if they could kill him, but he refused to grant their request. David said in verse 11, “…let him alone, and let him curse; for the LORD hath bidden him.” David completely understood that he didn’t need to respond in the same hateful manner of a man who was hurting because he lost his leader.
If you serve the LORD in any leadership position for any length of time, you are going to find yourself in the same position as David. People who should be thrilled with what you are doing will only cast stones and try to destroy you. No, they won’t be real stones, but they will be stones of slander, gossip, verbal attacks and spreading of misinformation about you. Surviving these stones is more determined by how you react to them. There are five things you need to do to survive the stones.
First, remember that God is in control. In verse 12, David totally understood that God was in control, and he didn’t want to interfere with God’s providential hand. You will never survive the stones being cast your way as long as you fight against God. God is very capable of taking care of your situation; you are just going to have to trust Him that He will take care of you during the struggle. God has never failed to care for you in the past, and He is not about to stop caring for you now.
Second, don’t return the stones. David had every opportunity to have this man killed, but he left him alone. Don’t pick up the stones being cast at you and throw them back at those hurling the attacks. You will become no better than those who cast the stones if you return the attacks. Trust God’s providential hand to protect you; He is very capable of keeping you safe and useful.
Third, learn from the stones being cast. David said in verse 11, “…the LORD hath bidden him.” There is a lesson in the battle you are facing, and it should be your desire to learn that lesson. Always ask yourself while the stones are being hurled what you need to change in your life. Ask yourself what the LORD is trying to teach you. I have found that every time I go through one of these situations in my life that the LORD is trying to teach me another lesson so that I can be more useful to Him.
Fourth, don’t take the stones being cast personally. Shimei thought he was being loyal to Saul, and he was also a hurting man because Saul was dead. Always remember that those casting the stones are doing so out of hurt or because they have been broken by sin. Don’t let the stones being hurled your way become a personal attack. Understand that it is a reaction to something going on in their life.
Fifth, be refreshed in the LORD. David and his men continued on and were refreshed. If you will continue on and do what you are supposed to do, you will find that the LORD will refresh your soul. You can endure the stones being cast your way with a good spirit, but it will only happen if you follow these five steps. If you follow these five steps, you will find that you will survive, and you will become a better Christian because of it.