In Order. Humility, Humiliation, Tragedy


2 SAMUEL 16-18

MAY 17th 

2 Samuel 16.11-13 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. 12 And perhaps the Lord will see that I am being wronged and will bless me because of these curses today.” 13 So David and his men continued down the road, and Shimei kept pace with them on a nearby hillside, cursing and throwing stones and dirt at David. 

There are always people who rejoice when someone falls or is suffering through adversity. Shimei has hated David for some time, but only felt confident to express his hatred when David was down and out. David responded with humility. When we are being taken advantage of or unjustly accused our best move is to humble ourselves before God. Maybe God is allowing the thing to happen as a test or discipline in our lives or it is just pure spite on the part of our enemies, and God ultimately will use it to work good for us. So if you want to strike back and avenge yourself, don’t! Leave room for God to act on your behalf. God will bless your reaction to their action.  

17.23 When Ahithophel realized that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey, went to his hometown, set his affairs in order, and hanged himself. He died there and was buried in the family tomb. 

After advising Absalom on how to best attack his father and kill him Ahithophel’s advice was ignored in favor of Hushai’s. Ahithophel felt so humiliated that he took his own life. On any other occasion his advise was as if it came straight from the mouth of God but this time God was against him because he was against God’s chosen King. When we are humiliated it is our opportunity to choose humility (like David) to learn a lesson, pass a test or watch God move on our behalf. When you choose humility you choose life choose pride you choose death.

18.32-33 “What about young Absalom?” the king demanded. “Is he all right?”

And the Ethiopian replied, “May all of your enemies, my lord the king, both now and in the future, share the fate of that young man!”

33 The king was overcome with emotion. He went up to the room over the gateway and burst into tears. And as he went, he cried, “O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you! O Absalom, my son, my son.”

What a tragedy! A family divided, a kingdom in upheaval, innocent people deceived, murder, needless and senseless violence, and a son lost. Why? The sin of pride. Rather than wait on God, Absalom had to have what he wanted now and would do anything to get it including maligning, usurping, humiliating, and attempting to kill his father. Absalom broke Davids heart and as any loving parent he would have gladly died for his son to live. We can avoid lots of pain and tragedy by choosing humility and trusting God to do what is right for us at the right time. 

I Peter 5b-6And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for

“God opposes the proud

    but gives grace to the humble.”

6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 

“Heavenly Father today I choose humility. No matter what is said about or done to me I choose to humble myself before you to trust you and your will for my life. Deliver me from the sin of pride for I cannot see it in myself when I am under it’s control. I choose to forgive those who have caused me harm or have sinned against me. May you this day give me the grace to treat others as I would have you treat me.”

Sal Sberna

Sal Sberna was Lead Pastor at The MET Church in Houston, Texas for 20 years. He retired on February 2015. He and Kristi Sberna have been married since 1981. They have two children, Salvatore and...more