1 Samuel 24 "The Portrait Hall: “Camping in the Cave”

In the last lesson, we were reminded that for the believer security is not a matter of what you withdraw from – but Who you withdraw to! David learned to measure his safety not in terms of distance from danger; but in terms of the nearness of God. David learned another lesson that we will investigate:

Key Principle: Revenge is NOT your job! God alone has that right! No matter how angry we get, the revenge instinct is a fallen one, and has no place in God’s people.

Six Observations About Revenge:

  1. Opportunities are Inevitable (1 Samuel 24:1-2). When you are taken advantage of, there may well be an opportune time to strike back, because the attacker leaves themselves open.
  1. Most expect you to take revenge (1 Samuel 24:3-4). David’s men counseled him to take revenge. One of them may have been Abiathar, who watched the execution of his family. The pressure will be there from even friends.
  1. It will feel wrong (1 Samuel 24:4b-5). Even as David reached out to hurt Saul, he felt a twinge of guilt!
  1. If you choose to soften, you will need to explain your decision (1 Samuel 24:6). Note that David needed to help the men see the position, not the man. Wisely, David showed respect for the office he one day would hold!
  1. You cannot allow others to fight for you (1 Samuel 24:7). Grace is given to the wounded, but not those next to the wounded.
  1. Your soft answer may create an opportunity for a testimony (1 Samuel 24:8-10). Saul was probably startled and perhaps embarrassed, but David’s point was made.

Six Steps to Reconciliation:

  1. Openly share your desire to be at peace with the other party (1 Samuel 24:11).
  1. Commend the person and the situation to God’s all knowing nature, and do not feel that it all must be made right in your eyes (1 Samuel 24:12-13).
  1. Set aside pride and show the other person THEY are more important (1 Samuel 24:14-15).
  1. Trust that God may move the heart of the adversary (1 Samuel 24:16).
  1. If they are softended by God, you will begin to hear truth from their mouth as the deception lifts! (1 Samuel 24:17-20).
  1. See if you can get to the heart of their fear or dispute! (1 Samuel 24:21-22).

We are people of reconciliation, not revenge. God has called us to peace!