Saul and David

(Mostly from "The Bait of Satan", by John Bevere)

Some people who have been rejected by a family member, friend, or leader tend to take all the blame themselves. They can be imprisoned by tormenting thoughts of "What did I do?" and "Was my heart impure?" They sometimes wonder, "Who turned the heart of my leader against me?" Then they constantly try to prove their innocence to the one they have been rejected by. They think that if they can only show their loyalty and value they will be accepted. Sadly, the more they try, the more rejected they feel, and that feeling can sometimes turn to feelings of vengeance.

Consider the relationship between Saul and David in the book of 1 Samuel. Saul acknowledged Davidís goodness when he saw David could have killed him and did not. So he and his men left. David could have thought, "Now the king will restore me. Now the prophesy will come to pass. Surely he sees my heart and will treat me better now." Only a short time later, men reported to Saul that David was in the hills of Hachilah. Saul went after him again with the same three thousand soldiers. This probably devastated David. He realized it wasnít a misunderstanding but that Saul was intentionally, without provocation, seeking to take his life. How rejected he must have felt. Saul knew his heart and still moved against him.

David, along with Abishai, slipped into Saulís camp. Not one guard saw them because God had put them all in a deep sleep. These two men sneaked through the entire army to where Saul was sleeping. Abishai pleaded with David.

1 Samuel 26:8, "God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a second time!"

Abisha had very good reasons why he thought David should allow him to kill Saul. First, Saul had murdered eighty-five innocent priests and their families, in cold blood. Second, he was out with an army of three thousand to kill David and his followers. If you donít kill the enemy first, Abishai reasoned, he will surely kill you. It is self-defense. Every court of law allows for that! Third, God through Samuel had anointed David as the next king of Israel. David should claim his inheritance if he didnít want to end up a dead man without the prophecyís ever being fulfilled. Fourth, God put this entire army into a deep sleep so that David and Abishai could walk right up to Saul. Why else would God do this? To Abishai it seemed David would never get another chance like this.

All these reasons sounded good. They made sense, and David was receiving the encouragement from another brother. So if David was the least bit offended, he would have felt totally justified and allowed Abishai to put a spear through Saul. But David would not kill Saul even though Saul had murdered innocent people and wanted to murder David as well. David would not avenge himself but left it in the hands of God (1 Sam.26:9-11).

David had proved his purity of heart when he spared Saul the first time. Yet even when David had a second opportunity to kill Saul, he would not touch him. How many people today have a heart like Davidís? They may no longer kill with physical swords but instead ravage each other with a sword of another kind, the tongue.

Proverbs 18:21, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue."

Congregations split, families divide, marriages shatter, and love dies, crushed by an onslaught of words launched in hurt and frustration, Offended by friends, family, and leaders, too many take aim with words sharpened by bitterness and anger. Even though information may be factual and accurate, motives are impure. Evil cannot be overcome with evil.

Proverbs 6:16-19 warns us that sowing discord or separation among brethren is an abomination to the Lord. When something is spread amongst God's people with the intention of separating or damaging their relationships or reputations, even though it is true, it is still an affront to God.

After Saul died, David then composed a song for the people of Judah to sing in honor of Saul and his sons. He charged the people not to proclaim it in the streets of the Philistine cities lest the enemy rejoice. He proclaimed that there be no rain or crops in the place where Saul was slain. He called for all of Israel to weep over Saul. This is not the heart of an offended man. An offended man would have said, "He got what he deserved!"

Our Father tries his servants with fire unto obedience. He lovingly places us in situations where the standards of religion and society would appear to justify actions of disobedience. He allows others, especially those close to us, to encourage us to protect others by avenging ourselves. But this is not Godís way. It is the way of the world and its wisdom (philosophy). It is earthly and fleshly, and is to be avoided like the plague.

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