As King David came to Bahurim, a man came out of the village cursing them. It was Shimei son of Gera, from the same clan as Saul's family. He threw stones at the king and the king's officers and all the mighty warriors who surrounded him. "Get out of here, you murderer, you scoundrel!" he shouted at David. "The LORD is paying you back for all the bloodshed in Saul's clan. You stole his throne, and now the LORD has given it to your son Absalom. At last you will taste some of your own medicine, for you are a murderer!" (2 Samuel 16:5-8 NLT)
Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with someone about ministry. We were talking about approaches, strategies, and our heart for people. I described to this person what I believe God is calling me to do here in Valparaiso, Porter County, Chicagoland, and beyond. More than that, I shared my heart for people and how much of my ministry is "behind the scenes" to empower people. When we got to this point in the conversation, the person's face reflected a look of pensive surprise. "You really get a bad rap, you know?" "Yeah," I responded. "No, I mean it. You really get a bad rap in some circles. They don't understand you at all." "That's OK." I said, "Maybe they will in time."
David's Kingdom is being overthrown by his own rebellious son. David became the ruler of Israel by God's plan. David never did anything to hurt Saul or Saul's family. He simply followed-through on the ministry God had called him to do. Saul's family, however, hated David for this. They wanted their own family to be in charge. It didn't matter that David had done nothing wrong. They just didn't like him. The result? They threw false accusations at him while he was on the run from his own son. A bad situation just got worse.
"Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?" Abishai son of Zeruiah demanded. "Let me go over and cut off his head!" "No!" the king said. "Who asked your opinion, you sons of Zeruiah! If the LORD has told him to curse me, who are you to stop him?" Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, "My own son is trying to kill me. Doesn't this relative of Saul have even more reason to do so? Leave him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him to do it. And perhaps the LORD will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today." (2 Samuel 16:9-12 NLT)
David handled these false accusations with great poise and wisdom. He was certainly strong enough to silence these accusers. He was certainly smart enough to argue with them and "prove" that they were wrong. He did neither. He simply let them voice their frustration, knowing they were wrong. He looked at the situation through their eyes, empathized with their perspective, and didn't let them get him down.
Sometimes the better part of wisdom is knowing when to keep silent. It's not important to show what you know or to prove others wrong. What's important is that you know where God is walking and that you join Him. He will work it all out in the end. Perhaps they will change their mind. Perhaps they won't. In either case, God will know the truth...and so will you.
So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing as he went and throwing stones at David and tossing dust into the air. (2 Samuel 16:13 NLT)