“When David returned to his house…”
(2 Samuel 20:3)
There will be times when you encounter people who have been the undeserving victims of a sinful person’s – attack. Victims like these need to be heard, cared for, and encouraged. King David did exactly that for some abused ladies, after some of the most difficult days in his amazing life. Absalom, his deeply loved but deceitful son had just attempted an unexpected military coup, so David had experienced great betrayal and personal pain!
Absalom ultimately lost his tragic battle against his father but as the sign of his sinful ambition, he intentionally disgraced David – by pitching a tent on the palace roof and forcibly sleeping “…with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.” (2 Samuel 16:22) Because of Absalom’s shameless behavior, David could never be intimate with any of them again.
Following his tragic battle with Absalom, “David came to his house at Jerusalem and took the ten women, the concubines whom he had left to keep the house, and placed them under guard and provided them with sustenance … until the day of their death … and they lived as widows.” (2 Samuel 20:3)
The abused concubines were ten highly devoted ladies whose lives were suddenly and dramatically changed for no fault of their own. This unthinkable experience took place through the shameful behavior of a trusted member of the royal family’s household. His reprehensible actions are remembered as an undeserved disgrace to the women, king David, and the entire nation!
If a man as greatly loved and used by God as David could suffer at the hands of his own trusted family members and be maliciously maligned by God’s enemies, then so can any Christian today. We, like David and the concubines, are not immune from the surprise attacks from our enemy!
To share God’s love with today’s countless victims of drunk-driving, robbery, rape, marital unfaithfulness, and the world’s many other forms of sin – you will need to pray for a patient heart and an attentive listening ear. Some you talk with will have been ravished by violent crime, addiction, natural disaster, or perhaps someone’s sad desire to make their money through a lifestyle of gambling.
The spontaneous human response to life’s many heartaches has often been to mistakenly blame God – rather than our real enemy. As an example, it was Satan who inspired the sins of greed and lust in Absalom’s heart. We are therefore instructed to be wise and “… Abhor what is evil…” (Romans 12:9) In cases like the ten concubines, brace yourself for assisting those who have broken hearts. They are likely to have misplaced feelings of disappointment. This is the challenge of witnessing to the wounded!
Victims of abuse will need to vent their pain and understandable feelings of bitterness for a reasonable period of time, so pray to be sensitive. You must be prepared to patiently think and listen before “…speaking the truth in love…” (Ephesians 4:15) Don’t rush – or make their situation appear unimportant, instead, ask God to help you put yourself in their place emotionally.
By Billie Hanks Jr.