June 9

2 Samuel 19:21-22 (NIV) 21Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, "Shouldn't Shimei be put to death for this? He cursed the Lord's anointed." 22David replied, "What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? This day you have become my adversaries! Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? Do I not know that today I am king over Israel?"

When David fled Jerusalem, Shimei, who was from Saul's clan, threw stones at David and his men and cursed them. He declared that God had given the kingdom to David's son because of all the blood David had shed in the house of Saul. David was careful to shed no blood of the clan of Saul and executed those who did. One of David's guards wanted to kill Shimei. In humility, David said that perhaps the Lord had inspired the man to curse him.

Upon return to Jerusalem Shimei came to ask for forgiveness. Abishai, one of David's commanders, wanted him executed. David continued to have mercy on Shimei. He said he had the throne returned to him and that was enough. He also said he had nothing in common with Abishai. I believe David felt Shemei had a different attitude and spirit than Abishai. He was not vengeful and bitter, but merciful and forgiving as the Lord had been to him.

If we walk in the Lord, we will sometimes see our enemies ask for forgiveness. We will have opportunity to repay them with evil, but the Spirit of the Lord is to overcome evil with good. If we give in to that spirit of retribution, the enemy of our soul has won; he was behind the attacks in the first place. If the enemy of our soul can't get us when we are down, he'll try when we are on top.

Consider: Don't give in to a vengeful spirit. Be merciful and forgiving as the Lord has been to you.

June 9

John 4:48-50 (NIV) 48"Unless you people see miraculous signs and wonders," Jesus told him, "you will never believe." 49The royal official said, "Sir, come down before my child dies." 50Jesus replied, "You may go. Your son will live." The man took Jesus at his word and departed.

Some folks are desperate for signs and wonders. "Show me and I'll believe," they say. A miraculous sign may help convince the seeking but cautious heart, but it will add to the condemnation of the hardhearted who are looking for excuses. Jesus said, "They have seen these miracles, and yet they have hated both me and my Father" (John 15:24). Many will believe and yet not confess, because they love their lives just as they are (John 12:42-43).

The royal official may have had some doubts, but he was desperate for Jesus to save his child. He did not let the rebuke deter him. There was nowhere else in which he placed any hope. Jesus spoke the word, and it was done. Remember that whatever your situation, Jesus need only speak the word and it is done. If He doesn't, there is a reason. The solution to every problem is a word from the lips of Jesus, but He will not speak it when He has better things in store for you.

The man took Jesus at His word. What great faith! What an example for us today! Like the Centurion whose servant was sick, this official knew a word from the lips of Jesus was enough. And yet, when he arrived at home and found his child well, he asked what hour his healing took place. When he found it was the moment Jesus spoke, he and his entire household believed. The miracle convinced his seeking heart. Are you taking Jesus at His word, both His written and spoken word? When He speaks to your heart, do you count it done? When you see the miracle, are you and your household convinced?

Consider: The words that He speaks to us are Spirit and life (John 6:63). Hear Him.