Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Enduring Criticism

O. T. #725 "Enduring Criticism"
March 30, 2016
2 Samuel 16-Part 2


Who likes to hear criticism, especially when you are following the Lord? Sticks and stones break our bones, but words do hurt us, so the cliché' is not correct. How do we endure such things? David is our example today. Friend, come with me to see how he did.

David made a statement of his faith in God controlling his circumstances after Ziba's lies and Shimi's stone throwing.
In verse 12 he said, And perhaps the LORD will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.

You will recall the three lies of Shimei, accused David of murdering King Saul, stealing his throne, and stating that the Lord gave his throne to Absalom, David's son. Although these accusations were made publically, David did not use bloodshed to obtain his throne.
What happened next?
  • Abishai asked why that dead dog (Shimei) curse King David. (verse 9)
  • Dead dog means worthless and despised. (MacArthur)
  • Abishai wanted to take off Shimei's head, but David refused to allow it. (verse 10)
  • David's unusual response is If the LORD has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him? (verses 10, 11)
  • So David and his people continued on down the road, with Shimei keeping pace with them, cursing and throwing stones at David and tossing dust into the air.
Did David recall the time when he was eager to kill Nabal and Abigail, the man's wife, interceded.
All of those words of Shimei were uncalled for, as John MacArthur put it. David was penitent of his past sins and those were lies.

You can always find a person wanting to step in and handle your situation. We hear, "Stand up for yourself. You have rights. Sue the guy. Let me at him!" in our world today. But when Jesus was accused of saying He was God, did not revile, but said it was so. You may say, "Look what it got Him-death on the cross." I say, "It was in God's plan all along for Jesus to die on the cross to show mercy to sinners."
James 1 tells us to consider it all joy when we fall into divers (various) temptations. The trying of your faith works patience. Need some patience?

Life Application Study Bible explains this better than I can:
David and his followers quietly tolerated the abuse. Maintaining your composure in the face of unjustified criticism can be a trying experience and an emotional drain, but if you can't stop criticism, it is best just to ignore it. Remember that God knows what you are enduring, and He will vindicate you if you are in the right.

Swindoll tells us:  If we hope to be used by God, we need to have a soft heart and thick skin. David didn't take this personally, nor got offended. One thing for sure, we can count on there being Shimeis out there by the dozens. When you walk through the thorns, you have to have on heavy boots. Yu don't walk through thorns barefooted... at least not far. If you are called into leadership, where you must deal with people, you have to be well-shod and armor-plated.

Are we bigger than the person slinging rocks and can forgive? If not, we reduce our size to their size.
Do we have the skin of a rhinoceros or a reptile? Thick skin can be acquired. Just keep a soft heart toward God.


David and all that were with him grew weary along the way, so they rested when they reached the Jordan River.

Need some rest? Get alone with Jesus. He got away from the crowd and went in a boat with his disciples. He even slept during a storm. Oh, the peace of Jesus walking and talking with us. Sit still and know He is God, friend. If God is going to change your situation, He will. Have faith and trust His timing.


Let God handle those criticizers.

Love my enemies and do good to them.

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