A Stone's Throw
And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera: he came forth, and cursed still as he came. And he cast stones at David, and at all the servants of king David: and all the people and all the mighty men were on his right hand and on his left. ~2 Samuel 16:5-6
The phrase “a stone’s throw” has the idea of something or someone being a short distance away. The idea is of someone being able to throw or toss a rock at a target that he is able to hit. In our devotion this morning, David is a literal stone’s throw away from a man named Shimei. Shimei comes forth out of the town of Bahurim, and targets David and his servants by throwing stones at them. What do you do when people throw rocks at you? Let us see what we should do when we are victims of contempt.
There is the rejection from contempt. Contempt is disdain, despising, and a disgraceful disregard for another person. A contemptuous person is disrespectful of the office, position, ideas, or position of the person that he despises. In effect, a contemptuous person has a hateful rejection of the one that he holds in contempt. Rejection is when another person says, “I don’t want you.” Rejection is demoralizing. If you are the one being rejected, you can feel worthless and become extremely distraught. David was the object of vile contempt and hatred. He said about those who held him in contempt, “All that hate me whisper together against me: against me do they devise my hurt,” Ps. 41:7.
There are the rocks in contempt.
Shimei was of the tribe of Benjamin, the same tribe that Saul was from. There were Benjamites, who had the same jealousy and contempt for David that Saul had—Shimei was one of them. David was at a low point in his life as he was running from Absalom and trying to make his way to Mahanaim. As he passed the Benjamite town of Bahurim, Shimei came out, and started throwing stones at David and cursing him. When we are held in contempt and rejected by others, they eventually hurl rocks at you. These rocks are verbal and written criticisms. They can be “in your face,” or in murmuring whispers. Rock-throwers don’t just throw one rock at you: like Shimei, they follow you and keep throwing more rocks at you. Are you someone being held in contempt, and have a “Shimei” who is throwing rocks at you?
There is the remembrance in contempt.
If rocks are being thrown at you, remember that rocks have been thrown at better men than you and me. Stephen was stoned for preaching the gospel to the Jews. Paul was stoned at Lystra by the Jews, who held him in contempt and followed him as he preached the gospel. Jesus was held in vile contempt, was rejected, and was the victim of terrible guile and cursings. The crowds at the cross reviled Him over and over. The religious hypocrites and Roman guard reviled Him. The thieves on the cross reviled Him. In their reviling, they were blaspheming the holy Son of God! Isa. 53:3 says, “He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
There is the response to contempt.
What do you do when people throw rocks at you? First, like Paul did, get up and keep going (Acts 14:20-21)! Second, pray for them that despise of you (Matt. 5:44). Third, commit your hurt to God in prayer, and let God take care of avenging you (Rom. 12:19).
When you are a stone’s throw away from being hit by a stone, don’t let it destroy your testimony. Be strong in the Lord when you are criticized and rejected. There will always be a Shimei who despises you, but there is always the grace of God which sustains you!
Have a strengthened God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Solomon 1-8