Is there someone you know who seems to delight in making your life miserable? You’ve tried being nice, and other times you’ve lost your temper…but still the problem persists. Well, you’re in good company. For years David had to deal with Saul. For about ten years (while David was in his 20s), he fled from King Saul and lived like a refugee in his own country. As those reading the story, we have pity on David and wish life could be easier for him. But, we need to remember, our trials are often for the benefit of others. God’s Word records this difficult trial of David to help us. Through Saul’s antagonism, God taught David how to handle conflict through the power of God’s Spirit and not rely on his own ability. In 2 Samuel 1 we read of David (at the age of 30) finally getting the news of Saul’s death at the hands of the Philistines. Did David rejoice at this news and call for a party? Just the opposite…David and his men mourned. He also composed a “lament” for Saul and Saul’s son Jonathan (who was also killed that day). As I read David’s lament this morning, I was amazed at David’s kindness and love toward Saul. This is the same man who twice tried to kill David with a spear. This is the man who hunted David obsessively for years. Here is a portion of what David wrote after hearing of Saul’s death: “Saul and Jonathan-in life they were loved and gracious, and in death they were not parted” (1 Sam. 1:22). How could David call Saul “gracious”?! The only possible answer is because of God’s love inside his heart. David responds like Jesus even in an age when the normal procedure was to hate and eliminate your enemies. By demonstrating the love of Jesus toward his enemies, David was way ahead of his time. His actions demonstrate a powerful example of Paul’s teaching from Romans 12:19, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay, says the Lord.’” So, if you find yourself the target of someone’s anger or hatred, take heart. God will work His love in your heart and deal with the antagonist in His way. Don’t take revenge. Pray for the love of Jesus to flow from your heart toward your enemies. He is able!
Pastor Mark Boucher