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:
- 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.
- 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.
- It will feel wrong (1 Samuel 24:4b-5). Even as David reached out to hurt Saul, he felt a twinge of guilt!
- 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!
- 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.
- 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:
- Openly share your desire to be at peace with the other party (1 Samuel 24:11).
- 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).
- Set aside pride and show the other person THEY are more important (1 Samuel 24:14-15).
- Trust that God may move the heart of the adversary (1 Samuel 24:16).
- If they are softended by God, you will begin to hear truth from their mouth as the deception lifts! (1 Samuel 24:17-20).
- 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!