THE SERVANT GENERAL
ABSALOM, SHIMEI AND LEGION
February 3, 2020
2 Samuel 15:13-16:13
The holy warrior can expect many to oppose him. “How
many are my foes, Lord! How many rise against me!” (Ps
3:2). Certainly the devil will oppose him. But there is also
the enemy within, within one’s own family and within
one’s own Christian community.
Just like God, the devil works in and through human instruments.
This was the case with the Gerasene demoniac. He “had
an unclean spirit” (Mk 5:2). In fact, he was infested.
When Jesus asked the name of the unclean spirit, he said,
“Legion is my name. There are many of us.” (Mk
5:9). The devil is powerful, and the human forces he infects
are many and powerful as well. These are world governments,
NGOs,international institutions and globalist billionaires
that promote the culture of death. At times it seems that
“no one was strong enough to subdue him.” (Mk
there is the enemy among God’s people. Such was Shimei,
who “was of the same clan as the house of Saul”
(2 Sm 16:5b). “He kept cursing as he came out, and throwing
stones at David and at all King David’s officers”
(2 Sm 16:5c-6a). Unfortunate as it is, there will always be
conflicts within the Christian community, whether lay associations,
religious congregations, parishes or within the hierarchy
of the Church herself. In David’s case, Shimei was cursing
him for perceived offenses against the family of Saul. Shimei
was “all the while cursing and throwing stones and dirt
as he went.” (2 Sm 16:13b).
Have you encountered a Shimei in your life and service?
you. There are those who fight with you and confront you
with harsh words.
Throwing stones at you. There are those who try to hurt
you and bring you down.
Throwing dirt at you. There are those who malign you and
ruin your good name, at times with lies and half-truths.
Then there is the enemy even within one’s own family
or inner circle. David’s own son Absalom turned against
him, joined by David’s own counselor Ahithophel the
Gilonite (2 Sm 15:31a). In pursuing the righteousness of God,
some have been opposed by their own children or siblings.
Jesus himself said that because of him, families will be divided,
with fathers against sons. In pursuing the mission of the
community, some have been betrayed by their closest confreres.
Jesus himself was betrayed by Judas, one of his chosen twelve.
How do holy warriors act in the face of all these?
always examine yourself first, before rejecting or opposing
the assaults of others. Abishai, as part of David’s
royal guard, wanted to kill Shimei for cursing David. But
David prevented Abishai, saying, “Suppose the Lord has
told him to curse David” (2 Sm 16:10b)?. Examine your
conscience. Have you actually done wrong? Do you see the speck
in your opponent’s eye but miss the plank in your own?
What is the Spirit trying to tell you by way of this assault?
keep your faith, trust and focus on God. Everyone may turn
against you, but never God. He will always be there to protect
you and preserve your dignity, even in the face of constant
assaults. “But you, Lord, are a shield around me; my
glory, you keep my head high.” (Ps 3:4).
in your distress, seek consolation not from men but from God.
Bring your troubles to God. Have the confidence that He will
always hear you. “With my own voice I will call to the
Lord, and he will answer me from his holy mountain.”
(Ps 3:5). Having done so, even in the face of constant assaults,
put everything in His hands. Know you are secure in His love
and care. “I lie down and I fall asleep. I will wake
up, for the Lord sustains me.” (Ps 3:6).
know that you serve a victorious God. As long as you strive
to be holy, and you give of ourselves to the Lord’s
mission, then you share in His victory. You need never be
afraid of anyone or anything. “I do not fear, then,
thousands of people arrayed against me on every side.”
though such assaults against you are painful, God uses these
to help you grow in holiness. These keep you humble. These
impress upon you that you are nothing without God. These teach
you virtues of patience, tolerance, forgiveness, unconditional
love. God will always work for your good, even making use
of your sufferings and pains. David said, “Perhaps the
Lord will look upon my affliction and repay me with good for
the curses he is uttering this day.” (2 Sm 16:12). Yes,
God certainly will.
continue with our work of evangelization and mission, intending
God’s salvation and deliverance be experienced by many
more people. When you confront sin in the world, keep in mind
Jesus’s words spoken to the demoniac: “Unclean
spirit, come out of the man!” (Mk 5:8). Continue to
be engaged in spiritual warfare. And hope for God’s
transforming power. After Jesus drove the demons out of the
demoniac, “the man went off and began to proclaim in
the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him” (Mk 5:20a).
The enemy had been recruited into God’s army!
Onward, holy warriors!