Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 16, Ezekiel 23, Psalm 70-71, 2 Corinthians 9.
10 But the king said, “What have I to do with you, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.” 2 Samuel 16:10-12
What the what?
If I was king, anointed by the Lord Himself, who just happened to be on the run from my son who was wanting me dead in order to establish himself as king, and some peon came up and started cursing me – do you know what I would do?
Or, at the very least, do you know what I would be thinking?
My first thought (okay, my second thought after I thought about punching the guy cursing me in the face), “Well, that’s the devil. That’s the enemy wanting to distract me, trying to take me down.”
Someone comes up to you and just starts cursing you left and right while you were trying to mind your own business – what would you think? “That’s the devil.”
And, it may very well be.
But this text is a reminder for us not to give the devil too much, or at least not all, the credit.
It might be the Lord.
No, no – not the Lord cursing you. But the Lord who sent the guy who is cursing you.
You read that right.
It might just be the Lord who sent the one who is letting you have it up one side and down the other.
Read 2 Samuel 16:10-12 again. Notice how David interpreted the “cursing fit.”
David thought it might be the Lord who sent the foul mouthed dude.
David knew he had done wrong (remember the whole Bathsheba and Uriah deal?).
David also knew his son was trying to kill him.
His interpretation of the guy who needed his mouth cleaned out with soap? The Lord sent him.
But notice something VERY, VERY carefully: David also assumed that if it was the Lord who sent the cursing crusader then the Lord would turn it around for David’s good. “It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today” (v. 12).
Here’s the point: David is trusting in God’s glorious Providence. David knew that – due to his actions – he deserved to be verbally abused. Heck, he deserved a lot worse than that. He takes it on the chin. But he doesn’t leave it there. He knows that – for those who love God, regardless of their sinful past – He works all things together for their good.
But He likewise isn’t happy when His children are cursed.
In the one instance, the Lord turns His anger away from our enemy.
In the other, as David was hoping, He puts the wrath away from the cursed, puts it on the rude one, and treats the mistreated with kindness.
As a matter of fact, it’s a lot like the thinking behind the guy who wrote Psalm 70:20-21.
Be careful who you blame. It may be the Lord. And it may be that the Lord is merely setting you up to be blessed with His goodness.