Monday, May 1, 2017

1 Samuel 24 - Enemy Encounter

As a Christian, my enemy lies within my old sin nature and with Satan hindering me. No person on this planet is my enemy. They are like me, a sinner (though they may not know the extent to which sin has governed their life and they may not know of the righteous God in Heaven who cannot be in relationship to such unholiness). I have no beef with other sinners, even those that sin against me. I won't say that I don't grieve or get frustrated by betrayals and hostilities, but I shouldn't be the one offering hostility. 

In this chapter, David gets the opportunity to come face to face with King Saul who has plotted David's murder and even organized an army to assure Saul's victory over David. Saul was plagued with evil thoughts and threatened by David though David had done nothing but good toward Saul.  Now, David had the opportunity to seize the throne by force and conquer his enemy, but David chose another way. 

David cut a piece of Saul's robe when he was close to him. David's men would have had Saul killed. They joined David's army because they had an axe to grind against the king. David demonstrated he was close enough to have killed the king, but did not. He showed grace to the madman who had so much hatred toward David. 

David bows down to King Saul once he leaves the cave and joins his men. David shows the piece of robe and reports he chose to spare the life of the king and allow God to judge his cause. He could have taken matters into his own hands but he recoginizes that he is better off in God's hands. 

David's gesture of grace overwhelmed Saul. Saul acknowledged that David had done no wrong and that Saul had treated David badly. He is amazed that David didn't harm him. Saul even offers David a blessing and asks David to protect Saul's family when he takes the throne. David promises to care for Saul's family,but returned to the caves where they had been living. 

Even though David had a moment of peace with the king, he also recognized that Saul could turn again.  When we encounter hateful people, we are called to show the love of Jesus, trust God for the results and then beware of future encounters. We don't need to place ourselves one the line of fire so as to stir up more strife. 

We all likely encounter people who are not friendly toward us and who would prefer to see us suffer than to thrive. We live in a world where Satan wields tremendous power, but we don't have to respond in kind. We have a greater power at work in us they may know nothing about. That power will conquer Satan for good one day. For now we recognize the powers that are opposed and we stand on the side of our Lord, Jesus and trust him as we proclaim peace. 

May God richly bless you as you seek Him and as you serve Him. 

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