A Victory Over Evil
“WHY should this dead dog call down evil upon my lord the king? Let me go over, please, and take off his head.” This request came from Abishai, an Israelite army chief. It was his angry response when he heard his lord, King David, being hatefully abused by a Benjamite named Shimei.—2 Samuel 16:5-9.
Abishai was yielding to a philosophy commonly espoused today—the principle of fighting fire with fire. Yes, Abishai wanted to make Shimei suffer for the insults that he had heaped upon David.
What, though, was David’s reaction? David restrained Abishai, saying: “Let him alone.” Although innocent of Shimei’s charges, David humbly resisted the temptation to retaliate. Instead, he left the matter in Jehovah’s hands.—2 Samuel 16:10-13.
When David returned to the throne after fleeing from an unsuccessful revolt by his son, among the first to greet him and ask for forgiveness was Shimei. Again Abishai wanted to kill him, but again David did not allow it.—2 Samuel 19:15-23.
In this instance, David proved to be a worthy picture of Jesus Christ, of whom the apostle Peter wrote: “When he was being reviled, he did not go reviling in return . . . but kept on committing himself to the one who judges righteously.”—1 Peter 2:23.
Today, Christians are admonished to be “humble in mind, not paying back injury for injury.” (1 Peter 3:8, 9) By following the course set by David and Jesus Christ, we too can “keep conquering the evil with the good.”—Romans 12:17-21.