Monday, November 10, 2008

1 Samuel, Chapter 26

If given the chance to exact revenge or spare the life of someone who had caused you copious amounts of undue grief, what would you do? Would you allow God to exact His vengeance, or would you take matters into your own hands for personal satisfaction? That is what David faced again here in chapter 26 of 1 Samuel. Saul had continued to comer after him, but David had another chance to take his life without Saul even knowing he was there. I do not know if I would have the strength or conviction to stay my hand as David did, but he did so because he knew ultimately that vengeance was the Lord and the Lord’s alone.

8 Abishai said to David, "Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won't strike him twice."

9 But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD's anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the LORD lives," he said, "the LORD himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD's anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let's go." – 1 Samuel 26:8-11

David knew that it was not his place to judge Saul. Saul had been placed in his role by God and God alone. Though David could have killed him and taken the throne with very little controversy, he did not. Saul’s judgment would come at God’s hand. David knew he himself would be judged by God for his actions as well. This was a test to prove his worth in god’s eyes, and David passed it.

We often face tests like this on our own. We are not always presented with a chance to gain revenge on our enemies, but we face similar tests when God presents us with the easy way or the right way. The easy way may accomplish something, but it is not always right. Sure, you can cheat on a test and get away with it, but I don’t want the surgeon that cheated his way through medical school to good grades. That same person probably didn’t earn anything they needed to learn, and that’s the last person I want cutting on me. David had a shortcut to his ultimate destination right there in front of him, but in taking it he wouldn’t have been properly prepared to be the king of Israel.

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