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Monday, February 4, 2002

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2 Samuel 15:13-14, 30; 16:5-13
Psalm 3
Mark 5:1-20

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"it is the lord!" (jn 21:7)

"Suppose the Lord has told him to curse David." —2 Samuel 16:10

David's son, Absalom, had started a civil war to kill his own father, David, and take over his kingdom (2 Sm 15:13ff). As David was fleeing Jerusalem on one of the worst days of his life, a man named Shimei started cursing David and throwing stones at him (2 Sm 16:5-6). Abishai, one of David's generals, proposed to David that Shimei be beheaded for his actions (2 Sm 16:9). David responded: "Let him alone and let him curse, for the Lord has told him to" (2 Sm 16:11). This is an astounding statement. David did not focus on how he felt, what Absalom did, or how unjust were Shimei's insults. Rather, David focused on the Lord. He was able to see the Lord at work even in the worst of circumstances.

Although David committed many sins and had major defects in his character, his great strength was that he focused on the Lord. For example, when others focused on the threats of the giant, Goliath, David proclaimed: "The battle is the Lord's" (1 Sm 17:47). David danced before the Lord no matter what his wife and others thought (2 Sm 6:16). Even after one of his worst sins, David confessed: "I have sinned against the Lord" (2 Sm 12:13). David composed many psalms and sang them to the Lord. On his deathbed, David said to his son, Solomon: "Keep the mandate of the Lord" (1 Kgs 2:3).

Fix your eyes on the Lord and live for and in Him.

Prayer:  Lord, have mercy. Lord, hear our prayer.

Promise:  "Jesus had been saying to him, 'Unclean spirit, come out of the man!' " —Mk 5:8

Praise:  John was able to keep his eyes focused on the Lord even when a close family member suffered a great emotional crisis.

Reference:  (For a related teaching, order our tape on Developing a Deep Personal Relationship with Jesus on audio AV 52-1 or video V-52.)

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, August 18, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2001