“May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. As the old saying goes, ‘From evil doers come evil deeds, so my hand will not touch you.’” (David’s words to Saul; I Samuel 24:12-13)
It’s a moment. Saul is pursuing David. He is extremely angry, and his intent is to kill him. David and his small group of men are deep inside a cave when Saul’s army, not knowing David is in there, makes a bathroom stop. David has the perfect chance to kill Saul, or even just take him captive. But he doesn’t.
He chooses not to do it because he trusts the LORD to be the one who brings justice, and he wants to honor the Lord’s appointed king. David trusts God more than he trusts his own desires. He trusts God’s timing more than he trusts his own. He knows that one dishonorable or destructive deed just leads to another and another. There is no end to the cycle of evil and violence. He chooses something different in this moment.
I’ve been reading David and Saul’s story over the past few days. It is such an incredible story of our humanness and God’s faithfulness. This link takes you to I Samuel 24 for this moment between David and Saul: https://bit.ly/DavidandSaul This story strikes me as something that is instructive for us and perhaps a needed word.
Emotional intelligence teaches us that pausing before reacting allows us the moments to respond in ways that do not perpetuate destruction, cruelty, or falseness. Jesus taught things like pray for your enemies (Matthew 5:43-48) https://bit.ly/prayforenemies ; and don’t get burdened down with worrying (Matthew 6:27) https://bit.ly/3bVTPvO ; and that we have the ability to observe the actions of falseness or destruction (Matthew 7: 15-19) https://bit.ly/3C36s2P .
How do we remember these teachings in the moment of need? Well, perhaps a pause gives us enough seconds to choose our response and to consider, as David did in this situation, a better way. The three chapters of Matthew 5-7 are worth our reading and taking to heart as often as we are willing.
When I read these teachings and stories like David’s, I am reminded of how amazing God is to love us. We are our full human selves, and God continues to shape and restore us into his image. Our brokenness meets God’s healing. Our thwarted thinking is realigned with the mind of Christ. We make different choices. We choose avenues of peace. We love one another in ways that show the world more of the God we worship. Little moments of integrity. One breath and one response at a time.
God, thank you for understanding our humanness and brokenness. I know there are so many times I’ve disappointed you. I’ve been weak and allowed circumstances to propel me even though I know your Holy Spirit is so faithful to guide when I pause to hear you. Our dysfunctions are real, Lord, but your healing does restore us. Your healing gives us the gift of choosing differently. Thank you for any moments we honor you with those choices.
God, please take the hard places in our hearts and minds; create open spaces for us to heal. Your redemption and restoration of our lives is amazing to experience, and we all need you. Please keep doing it more and more. Thank you for leading us to higher ground as we begin this week. It is our desire to honor you with our lives. We love you, Lord, and we trust you completely. Amen.
Friends, be encouraged! God sees you and hears you; you are not alone!