King David, from the Bible, was an interesting fellow. He marched to the beat of a different drum. So much so, his Commander in Chief, Joab, stood aghast at his seemingly odd behavior. 2 Samuel 19:6 records for us the stinging remarks of Joab:
You love those who hate you and hate those who love you.
Now, that’s a stiff jab!
But, I can’t say that I blame Joab. It seemed to be true.
If you read through 2 Samuel you’ll see what he was talking about. I counted eight separate occasions where David seemed more concerned for his enemies, than he did for his friends.
Check it out:
- 2 Samuel 1 – He mourned the death of Saul (his enemy), and rebuked the murderer (his friend).
- 2 Samuel 3 – He mourned the death of Abner (his enemy), and rebuked the murderer, Joab (his friend).
- 2 Samuel 4 – He mourned the death of Ish-Bosheth (his enemy), and rebuked the murderers (his friends).
- 2 Samuel 16 – He spared Shimei (his enemy), and reprimanded Abishai (his friend).
- 2 Samuel 18 – He mourned the death of Absalom (his enemy), and resented his murderer, Joab (his friend).
- 2 Samuel 19 – He promoted Amasa (his former enemy), and demoted Joab (his friend).
- 2 Samuel 19 – He spared Shimei second time (his enemy), and reprimanded Abishai a second time (his friend).
- 2 Samuel 20 – He mourned Amasa (his former enemy), and detested Joab (his friend).
What is going on?
I think this odd behavior was due to the fact he was more in tune with God than he was with his friends. And he came out looking like the bad guy. That can happen quite often.
Psalm 62:1 records one of David’s highest values: For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation.
And he lived it. “For God alone my soul waits.” He wanted his salvation to come from God, not because he lifted his hand to accomplish it himself – or even let somebody do it for him. He wanted the Lord to be his sole deliverer. Now that’s trust.
David wanted to wait on God’s timing. Yet he had all these well-intentioned friends around him – God bless their hearts – trying to force his hand. Trying to get the job done as quickly as possible. In their ambition to please David, to do what they thought was pertinent and right, they kept taking matters into their own hands. Driven by impulse. Knee-jerk reaction. But, David was not cut from the same cloth. His soul was waiting in silence.
David had plenty of enemies:
And each of them were after David’s throne.
Wouldn’t it make sense for David to be relieved someone was looking out for him? You would think, but no. Each time an enemy was struck down, David was smitten. Cause not only did he want to do it God’s way, he refused to deal with the world on it’s own terms. He refused to give way to hate, he refused to give way to striving. No! Vengeance is not mine. Plain and simple, he just wanted to be in sync with his God, which ultimately put him at odds with the culture around him.
So I take encouragement from this curious phenomena. If you wanna do things in a God-honoring way, people may not always get you. You might even be a cultural conundrum. You might receive a stinging remark or two. Well, that’s okay. Following God never made anyone popular, but it has made people the stuff of legends. Like David, being true to God – when everyone is calling your name – takes guts. Not an easy thing to do, but, then again, a very easy thing to to when your purpose is fixed and your heart is settled.
Like, my man, Andy Mineo says, “Why y’all scared to be different?” It’s okay to be different if it means following God.