Humility (2 Samuel 16:10-12)

But the king said, “What have I to do with you, O sons of Zeruiah? If he curses, and if the LORD has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” Then David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my son who came out from me seeks my life; how much more now this Benjamite? Let him alone and let him curse, for the LORD has told him. Perhaps the LORD will look on my affliction and return good to me instead of his cursing this day.”

2 Samuel 16:10-12

Humility is a virtue that modern American society does not place a premium on. To be aware of our own faults and shortcomings; to know that what we have done is not the greatest thing ever (even if others think it is) is looked at as a weakness. But David did not see it that way.

David hears a man cursing him and spewing vitriol against him and not only says nothing in return, but silences others as well. David was well aware of the truth of what the man was saying. The man accused David of being a man of blood. David was the quintessential warrior king. The man said that God was visiting David’s sin on him. David had been told by the prophet Nathan that his (David’s) actions in having Uriah murdered would bring violence into David’s house. So David, mindful of the grain of truth in what is said, focuses on that truth and looks to the mercy of God.

That is humility. David was the king. He was well within his rights to have the man cursing him killed. The man was going so far as to throw rocks at him. It could reasonably have been thought of as self-defense. But David realized that his sin had, in some measure, brought the catastrophe on him.

Are there things in my own life that can be traced back to sins I have committed? Lies I have told may come back to haunt me. Things I have done may carry consequences. If someone comes along and tells me that I’m not all that and then some, I can only agree. A man once described one of his fellows as “a humble little man with much to be humble about.” That description, in truth, applies to all of us. I am a humble little man with much to be humble about.


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