In 2 Samuel 16, Shimei strikes out at King David with words and stones. I expect the words hurt more than the stones. As David was fleeing from the treacherous betrayal of his own son, Absalom, Shimei shouts at him, “Get out! Get out! You man of blood, you worthless man.” If David is anything like me, he’s already said the same things to himself. Shimei goes on, “The Lord has avenged on you all the blood of the house of Saul.”

He blamed David for Saul’s death even though he was miles away when Saul committed suicide. Verse 6 of chapter 16 says that David’s mighty warriors were on his left hand and on his right hand. Abishai, David’s General, offered to remove Shimei’s head for David! But David said no.

Never was David’s greatness seen in a brighter light. He accepted the abuse and cursing from this man without retaliating entrusting his case to God. You can almost feel David’s grief as he explains to Abishai, “My own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjamite.” That was the tribe from which Saul came. “Leave him alone,” David continued, “and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to.”

When the fifth-century bishop of Constantinople, Chrysostom, was driven from the city into exile, he wrote a friend, “When I was driven from the city, I felt no anxiety, but said to myself, If the empress wishes to banish me, let her do so; the earth is the Lord’s. If she wants to have me sawn asunder, I have Isaiah for an example. If she wants me to be drowned in the ocean, I think of Jonah. If I am to be thrown into the fire, the three men in the furnace suffered the same. If cast before wild beasts, I remember Daniel in the lions’ den. If she wants me to be stoned, I have before me Stephen, the first martyr. If she demands my head, let her do so; John the Baptist shines before me. Naked I came from my mother’s womb; naked shall I leave this world.”

We have Jesus as our example. He sweated blood at Gethsemane and prayed, “not my will but thine be done.”