DAVID the MERCIFUL 1 Samuel 24
We start the week reading about a difficult hole in which David found himself, and end with a Psalm reflecting on the lessons he learned through these difficulties. It is a strange little story to find in the Bible, but we are all learners in the same boat as David. So don’t just smile at the story and say ‘Well, there you go!’ Look out for similar learning opportunities to enable you to grow as a merciful and kind person.
v18 Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the Lord put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it.
Revenge is a very powerful emotion. When a person has done something to hurt you one of the very first things to run through your mind could well be ‘I’ll get him for that.’ You plot to match an unkind word with a stinging retort. You aim to get your own back by some devious action or damaging remark.
That is the situation in which David found himself. He was being pursued by Saul with an army of 3000 troops and threats of murder. In fact, Saul was right on David’s tail; his troops could have surrounded the cave where David was hiding and well, that would have been the end of David and his motley collection of soldiers. But God ….. Yes God had other plans. David too could have put an end to Saul but chose not to – revenge for all Saul’s misdirected anger was at the end of David’s knife, but he held back.
What was going on in David’s mind, do you think? Or, more to the point, what goes on in your mind when you feel the heat of someone else’s unjustified anger or bitterness? The command to love your enemy does not often come rushing to the surface immediately! It might come later when you have had time to reflect on the situation, but how many of us can control our feelings in the face of provocation and not repay hurt with hurt?
Try to think behind David’s reaction to this situation; what do verses 6 & 7 say about his leadership?