We had great fun acting out Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit as we began our journey through the book of Acts the day before. Really, what kid doesn’t like making up a new language and pretending they’re on fire? But today was different. Today those unburned foreign language speakers had to defend themselves. Today the disciples had been accused of drunkenness and were mocked as mentally disadvantaged.
By the time I got through Peter’s defense and gospel presentation and on to David’s prophetic words, I was pretty sure I’d lost all three little minds to daydreams. Nevertheless, the promise realized at Pentecost was doubtless repeating its performance – at least in me – despite my monotone. Peter’s words were amplified without the need for a microphone the moment they left my mouth. Finally, a not-fake smile appeared upon my rapidly line-filling face. He said this:
“For David said this about him (Jesus): I keep the Lord before me always. Because he is close by my side, I will not be hurt. So I am glad, and I rejoice. Even my body has hope. This is because you will not leave me in the grave. You will not let your Holy One rot. You will teach me God’s way to live. Being with you will fill me with joy.” (Acts 2:25-28)
Knowing I had about 4.2 seconds before sleep captured my subjects, I decided I’d better go with the flow. Rather than going back through Pete’s entire sermon, I simply asked, “Do you girls remember who David was?”
My oldest comically “raised her hand” in our classroom of three and said, “I do! Wasn’t he the one who got stones thrown at him?”
Now, if I hadn’t know my daughter’s level of Bible knowledge and I hadn’t always loved the story she was referring to, I may have corrected her. But I did. And I did. So I replied with great enthusiasm, leaving my monotone behind, “Yes! I love that story! The one where he gets dirt kicked in his face and cussed out?!”
Most kids, (and adults!) when asked of David, would immediately envision his victory with Goliath. They’d remember his dance, or, maybe even, his sin. They’d remember that he was a king; a warrior; a winner. They’d see him slinging a stone, not being stoned. But not my Mia. She is far too wise to forget the most important details of David’s life.
David suffered greatly. I wrote a four-hundred page book on the Psalms that assures me of it. The king he shadowed, Jesus, suffered greatly, too.
The story Mia was referring to is found in 2 Samuel 16. It’s about a man, Shimei, who had the audacity to follow King David and his men, cursing him, throwing stones, and kicking dust in his face.
Most kings would never put up with that kind of disrespect and abuse. But this king did. And my King Jesus did, too. They really didn’ t have to because they had the power to stop it. In fact, one of David’s men even offered to behead this fool for him. David’s response?
“…If he is cursing because the Lord has said to him, ‘Curse David,’ who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?’” 11 And David said to Abishai and to all his servants, “Behold, my own son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite! Leave him alone, and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. 12 It may be that the Lord will look on the wrong done to me, and that the Lord will repay me with good for his cursing today.” ~2 Samuel 16:10b-12
What?! Who says that when they are cursed?! The Lord told him to? The Lord may bless me because of it?
David did – and he had more than enough reason and might to remove this miserable mocker. But, no. On they marched with the abuse marching right alongside. Stones flying. Dirt flying. Choice words flying. And the story ends with the king and his people arriving at their destination, weary.
I’m so thankful for my eight-year-old’s intuitive, prophetic nature. God uses small voices far more often than big ones – at least in monotone mommy’s lives.
Thanks to Mia, I doubt I’ll ever think of David again without thinking of Shimei and his affliction, too. I guess the lesson was for me yesterday. Let me never remember David, the disciples, or my King, Jesus, apart from remembering the abuse, the mockery, the disrespect, the injury, and the suffering that goes along with the victory. We cannot have one without the other. We get to share in both.
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. ~Romans 8:16-17