It’s easy to honor our friends, to be kind to those who are nice to us… but when a family member or friend lashes out and tries to destroy us it suddenly becomes a very different story. This is where we find David in 1st Samuel. This is our David, the boy that fought the giant Goliath and won. The shepherd boy anointed a king. David, the harpist called to sooth Saul in his most tortured hours. The boy who became like a brother to Saul’s own son and given the hand of his daughter in marriage because of his amazing victory in battle.
The Chosen Family
David was the “chosen” family of this King of Israel. But Saul suffered from terrible jealousy. After a day of battle, the women began to sing to the victorious Israelite army Saul has killed his thousands and David tens of thousands. This made Saul fly into a terrible rage and King Saul swears to kill David after years of loyal service. David hasn’t done anything to deserve this treatment and yet must flee for his life. In the following chapters, we find him wandering from place to place hiding from Saul.
As we come to verse 24 Saul returns from pursuing the Philistines and discovers that David is in the desert of En Gedi. He takes 3,000 men with him to hunt for David. At one point in the story, Saul comes into a cave, unaware that David and his men are hiding deep inside. David’s men urge him to kill Saul while he is unaware of their presence, so he slips up behind him. You see revenge seems like a good idea in the moment when we are reeling and hurt. If anyone deserved it, it was Saul. Yet instead of killing Saul, he cuts a piece of cloth from his robe and Saul leaves the cave unharmed.
David feels remorse for what he has done, he tells his men to not lay a had on Saul. When Saul leaves the cave David calls to him using the title “My Father” He said to Saul,
Reacting To Being Attacked
That’s a much different reaction then many of us would have. When we are wrongly hurt its easy to lash out and the one who has hurt us, it’s almost instinct. No one would have blamed David for taking his revenge out on Saul, in fact, his friends encouraged it. But David refuses to harm his one-time friend. He has the courage, the audacity to go against what people are saying and to honor. We are not responsible for others actions, but we are our own.
Delivered Into David’s Hands
God had told David that he would deliver King Saul into his hands to do with what he will. David could have destroyed the king. David had the opportunity to injure Saul, to kill him. He could have spread gossip about the king’s mental illness, the fears that plagued him in the dead of night that could only be soothed by the sound of music. David could have told the world of the times he’d been called to torment the demons that tormented the king. He could have tried to turn the people’s hearts against Saul, but he didn’t. He chose to honor the King and give it to God. God honored David for his decision.
God is long-suffering with Saul but He removes his hand of blessing and anointing from Saul making David the shepherd boy King of Israel. Saul’s life of envy and anger ends in disgrace and David is lifted up because he was a man after God’s own heart.
Have The Audacity To Honor
Maybe you have the dirt on somebody, you hold the future of someone in your hands like David did with Saul. What will you do, will you be like David’s son Absalom later in the story and air the dirty laundry at the “gates” or in modern times across social media and to our friends, seeking to destroy and get your vengeance or will you make David’s choice to honor God above all else despite what others do, and surrender our need for retribution?
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19 NIV
In the end, when the dust settled Saul is the one who loses and David steps into His rightful place because he had the audacity to honor.
Have the audacity to honor, in the midst of the attack, when everything inside of you wants to strike back and not let God deal with them. He knows what they’ve done, he knows the lies they’ve spun, the words whispered in the darkness, the plans to destroy you and He will deal with them in His time. Our job is to wait, honorably and trust God to handle them. But our choices and reactions can disqualify us from what the Lord has called us to.
I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them. Deuteronomy 32:35 NLT
Read More In Our Dry Season Series
- Parasitic Relationships 13
- Walking Through Life Wounded 5
- Choosing Your Team When Facing Silent Battles 9
- Lesson Of The Dry Season 1
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Scripture quotations marked (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.