Written by Miss Rachel
For 13 long years David had been running…running from Saul. Saul was the King of Israel, but he had not obeyed the voice of the Lord. Saul allowed himself to be deceived and cared more about his kingship than he did about following God and His commandments. Saul was a jealous man – jealous of David because the Lord was with David. God decided that He would take the kingdom away from Saul, and so Saul, in his anger and hatred for David, he tried every way he could to kill him. The great thing is that God was with David and protected him many times. You can read all about that in the book of 1 Samuel. I know this post is supposed to be about 2 Samuel, but bare with me for a few moments while I set the mood.
Thirteen years God protected David from Saul and his men. And twice David had the opportunity to kill Saul and end his own misery (1 Samuel 24 & 26). He had to chances to get rid of his problems! Sounds good right? If you had the chance to get back at someone who had hurt you in some way…would you do it?
Why wouldn’t David kill Saul, his enemy? The answer can be found in 1 Samuel.
“But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD’s anointed and be guiltless?” And David said, “As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD’s anointed.” – 1 Samuel 26:9-11a
“And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.” ~ 1 Samuel 24:16b-17
You know, sometimes life is really hard. Friends are not always kind and loving to us, people may think we are strange for making the choices that God has lead us to do. People may call us names, look at us strangely because of our attire or our family, or may even physically hurt us.
We are God’s children and so that sets us apart and there are times that people won’t like that – the bible even says they will hate us for it. Our first human reaction when anyone does something like this to us may be to get angry, speak up and speak our mind, or perhaps even physically harm them in turn. That would be *fair*, right?
But you know what dear friends. That is not what God would have us to do! Even to think or speak unkindly about those who hurt us is wrong! :O I know it’s hard…when those around us treat us unkindly. Worse even if they are those whom we thought our dear friends. Oh, how I know how that hurts. It can be very heartbreaking when those we loved most can turn and speak unkind things or try to hurt us. But take courage! For the Lord is with you! There are many verses in the Bible that speak of God taking care of us and being the judge for us in situations such as this. Our job is to have the correct attitude.
The Bible tells us 3 times to “love our enemies” [Luke 6:27; Luke 6:35; Matthew 5:44]:
“But I say unto you, *Love your enemies*, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” ~ Matthew 5:44
We are not to “get back” at those who hurt us but instead we are to…
- Love them
- Bless them
- Do good to them
- Pray for them
That’s not always easy, is it! But that’s what God wants us to do! Why you may ask? Well I think it’s because when we store up hatred against someone, it doesn’t hurt them as much as it hurts us. Trying to get even with someone who has hurt you is not God’s way. Think of the stories you may have heard of those who did good to someone who has hurt them deeply – God can use our good actions sometimes to change hearts and lives and sometimes even bring others to salvation. The actions of others should never keep us from doing what is right in God’s eyes. We must always try to choose the better thing, make the right choice, and sometimes that is the hard thing too. Loving someone who has really hurt you is never easy, but God gives us the strength to do what He wills us to do. God blesses those who follow and obey Him!
Okay, so this is supposed to be “Stories from 2 Samuel” right? ;D thus far I’ve been sharing from 1 Samuel…because when I started reading in 2 Samuel I was struck by David’s behavior…
In this first chapter of 2 Samuel a rider comes up to the camp of David saying that Saul, Saul’s son Jonathan (and David’s beloved and dear friend – like a brother to him) have both been killed. What struck me was that instead of rejoicing that his enemy was dead, we get this:
Wait a minute!! Did you read that?! David is *mourning* for Saul’s death! Doesn’t that strike you as odd? Would you be sad if your worst enemy had just died? Here it seems that all of David’s troubles are finally over – his enemy has been slain and things can get back to normal. David can be the King and ruler of all Israel just as God promised! You would think David would be doing a victory dance right about now…or maybe not…
The reason I chose this story was because I felt so compelled and humbled by David’s attitude here. I know there have been times (and yes, some of them very recent too) when I thought badly of someone because they said something about me or my family (maybe not even meaning to be hurtful), or looked down on me because of money or situation, etc. but I was humbled when I saw that David did not strike when he had the chance. David did not rejoice when his enemy had died.
Saul was the Lord’s anointed. God had appointed him as king and until God said otherwise David committed to respect Saul because it was God that had put him in authority as king.
There are others in the bible too that we can learn this valuable lesson of returning only good for the evil that others do to us – Jesus Christ to the Roman soldiers who beat Him and nailed Him to a cross (also the disciples who left Him when they were scared and to each of us!), Joseph with his brothers, the saints in Romans and Acts who were tortured and beaten and killed for their faith in God, and many, many more.
Let us follow the examples of Christ and of David – instead of retaliating back when we get hurt, let us instead pray for them and love them and be kind to them and show them God’s love for them.