How long will you people ruin my reputation? How long will you make groundless accusations? How long will you continue your lies?
~Psalm 4:2, NLT
Slander is worse than cannibalism.
The democrats did not invent slander and innuendo; they’ve been around since Satan’s debut in the Garden of Eden. The old adage, “Sticks and stones can break my bones but words will never hurt me,” is false. Words can be very hurtful. David knew the pain of slander and gossip. Even his supporters were talking among themselves as they marched with king out of Jerusalem. They were questioning their own allegiance to the king. Some of them were saying, “Even if we are loyal to the king, what’s in it for us?” David was aware of what his enemies were saying and he also understood the doubts of those in his entourage. Absalom coup d’etat had shaken David to the core and his humiliation was so deep that David acts out of character. Normally, if your curse David or throw rocks at him, you make him angry and you die. However, on this very embarrassing occasion, David is in no mood for revenge. He didn’t allow Abishai to decapitate Shimei and he did lash out at his doubting supporters. What would cause David to have such a radical change in behavior? I do not know that I can answer the question but I would like to try.
I think the weight of David’s sins were pressing down on him which explains his bowed head and bare feet. Nothing humiliates us like our sins. David was not focused on Shimei’s sins nor those who were weak and doubtful. David was thinking about his own sin. You think about it for moment. All of us have been hurt by others at times, right. If you would be honest and would take the time, you could sit down a make a list of people who have done or said things that hurt you. BUT lets flip the coin: all of us have done and said things that hurt others. We humans are both the hurtee and the hurter. As they say on the cop shows: we all played the part of the victim and the perp. Now for the sad news: many folks are unable to see themselves as the perp; in their mind, they are always the victim. Many of these folks use their pain as a crutch and they use to beat others over the head. I hope you are honest enough to take responsibility for the abuse you have dished out. Don’t read anything Nancy Leigh Demoss writes, you will get under conviction. I am doing her workbook on personal revival and she ask us to make the above list which I did. I am afraid I have been the perp more than the victim. I have felt the weight of my sins so heavy upon my heart that I wept. This is what David was feeling. He had made a lot of foolish mistakes and his chickens had come home to roost and he knew it. He was more angry with himself than anyone else.
I have a second answer: I agree with Dr. Wiersbe, I think David understood GRACE which the majority of Baptist don’t understand. A lot of Baptist are on the point system: you get a point for church attendance, a point for teaching Sunday School, singing in the choir, playing an instrument, visiting a shut in, helping a needy person, giving to the church, etc. Those on the point system keep records. They count their points and yours too. If you will notice, it is very important for those on a point system to get recognition for their contributions. They fake humility but sooner or later they are going to tell you what they have done and they may remind you that they were doing it before you arrived on the scene. They have the stockholder mentality: I have been here longer than you. WOW! So tell me how that figures into GRACE. David din’t want to be recognized, he wanted to hide. People who crave recognition don’t understand their sin and guilt. David understood that he was a death and hell deserving sinner and that is why he prayed for mercy. I don’t want to do this but let me tell you what will happen to Baptist on the point system..