Copy of Today's Readings: 2 Samuel 16 | Jeremiah 20 | Romans 5
Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - 2Samuel 16:5
"As King David approached Bahurim, a man from the same clan as Saul's family came out from there. His name was Shimei son of Gera, and he cursed as he came out" (2Sa 16:5).
In these verses (vv 5-14), there are many types of and comparisons with the trials of Christ:
Shimei (of Benjamin: like Saul, and Saul of Tarsus?) curses David as he is led outside the camp to suffer (notice: there is Kedron: 2Sa 15:23; and Olivet: 2Sa 15:30).
David, being forgiven (and thus sinless), accepts this rebuke quietly -- as coming from God.
His followers beg permission to attack his accusers, but he refuses (cp Mat 26:52).
David shows no violence or anger: he is like a "lamb" led dumb to the slaughter.
"The scene is one we would do well to carry in our hearts -- Shimei's violent language and the flying stones, and David's silent, disciplined army marching towards Jericho, with their king humbled in their midst. Another, greater than David, 'who did no sin neither was guile found in his mouth,' would bear a greater reproach outside the walls of Jerusalem. When reviled, he would not threaten but would commit himself to Him that judgeth righteously. [1Pe 2:21-25] Twelve legions of angels would be his servants, but not one of them would silence those who cursed the Son of God. Christ's submission before undeserved cursing and bitterness was part of the triumph of his spirit" (Harry Tennant, "The Man David" 169).
Reading 2 - Jeremiah 20:18
"Why did I ever come out of the womb to see trouble and sorrow and to end my days in shame?" (Jer 20:18).
Was I born to see trouble and sorrow? YES! That is the very reason why you were born. Trial is not proof that God does not exist; it is proof that He DOES exist! Trial is one means by which God prepares character.
Reading 3 - Romans 5:2-4
"And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope" (Rom 5:2-4).
If I can be sure, when the time finally comes for the Great High Priest to return from the Most Holy Place bringing the final blessing.... that I'll still be here, waiting at my post, rejoicing in the tribulations which I endure, and having learned patience... real PATIENCE... enough for a lifetime, of broken hearts and broken dreams [sounds like a country western song, doesn't it?], of hurt feelings, of resentments, of disappointments, of bitterness, of ailments and illnesses, of the gradual and insidious decline of all my human powers, and the frustrations of coming short time and again of what I would like to be, but can't quite be, of asking forgiveness for the 490th time for the same sins, of forgiving others for the same number of times.... without throwing up my hands and walking away from the door of the temple. Out into the howling waste of a wilderness of snakes and scorpions -- where there is no hope and no life and no love... the wilderness where Judas went, and Cain, and Saul, and a million others -- who could not truly believe that the High Priest was coming to bring them the last great blessing. Yes, if I can only wait, and persevere... long enough.... then "I WILL BE saved" will turn into "I AM saved"! God give me strength enough to wait... that long.