Matthew Henry says, ” Meekness teaches and enables us patiently to bear the anger of others … Commonly, that which provokes anger is anger, as fire kindles fire; now meekness prevents that violent collision which forces out these sparks, and softens at least one side, and so puts a stop to a great deal of mischief; for it is the second blow that makes the quarrel.” From The Quest for Meekness and Quietness of Spirit, p. 31.
The second blow makes the quarrel. How true this is. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Romans 12:18 How many arguments, fights, and blown tops would be avoided if Christians would refrain from striking the second blow? And turn the other cheek? How much bitterness and divorce and estranged relationships would never occur if we trusted God with the words others speak to us rather than immediately rebelling against them. I think sometimes in my life, when I pop back at someone, it’s because I don’t believe God will use my assailant’s words for my good (Rom. 8:28-29) nor do I believe that the other person and I are equals (Romans 12:3). Somehow I’ve become superior to him, know more than Him and don’t deserve to be treated in this manner. Ha! I am not superior to anyone; God always knows more than I do about the situation, has it under complete control and has only let these words be spoken to me for my good. As far as deserving to be treated better. No. I deserve hell and someone railing against me is infinitely less than what I deserve.
Shimei cursed King David, hurled stones at the Lord’s anointed, insulted him in front of his mighty men and was generally a nuisance. Slander, attempted murder, stalking a king: All crimes for which David could have easily and justifiable hung him. But he didn’t. He was encouraged to wipe Shimei off the face of the planet. Mighty man Abishai said, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Please, let me go over and take off his head!” Shimei enraged David’s band of dedicated warriors, but David responded meekly. Not as a wimp or a man with no power. No, he too was a warrior and mighty man, not to mention a temporarily deposed king. Neither did he respond as a coward or fool. He courageously fought the battles put before him by the LORD and wisely led a nation. But he responded to Shimei as a man who absolutely comprehended God’s sovereignty even in the words flung at him by the heathen. David says, “Let him curse, because the LORD has said to him, ‘Curse David.’ Who then shall say, ‘Why have you done so?'” and “Let him alone, and let him curse; for so the LORD has ordered him.” 2 Samuel 16:5-13
David responded meekly because he was certain God was in control, even of the tongues of men. He trusted that God would allow only what was best for him. That’s why he could refrain from throwing the second blow. If we trust God loves us (1 John 4:10), only lets situations come into our lives that are the best thing at that moment for us, and will use them for our good, we too, can respond meekly when tempted to fight anger with anger. We know that’s a battle we will lose to sin anyway when we fight fire with fire, but to have the Spirit’s control, the confident expectation that God is in this, is to be meek and respond in a Christ-like manner to all people. What a lovely day that will be when we all love and practice meekness!
~In case you are interested in what eventually happened to Shimei: When David was reinstated as King, Shimei showed up at the coronation, begged for mercy and it was granted to him not to die, but to be ” imprisoned” in a particular city where he could freely live, but not leave. He complied with these regulations for a time. 1 Kings 2:44-46 explains what eventually happened to Shimei. God says, “Vengeanace is Mine, I will repay,” and He does. Romans 12:19