I Samuel 24:25-44
We read about the conflict between Saul and David. Saul knew that his kingdom would be stripped away and given to another. When the people started praising David for his victories in battle, Saul’s jealousy consumed him. He must have seen David as a threat to his kingdom and on several occasions tried to kill David.
David had every reason to do Saul in. He was on the run, fleeing for his life and hiding in caves. God delivered Saul right into David’s hands. How easy it would have been for David to kill Saul right there on the spot. Instead of killing him, David reached out and cut off a piece of Saul’s robe. Immediately his conscience is pricked, and he felt remorse for his actions. He said, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king and attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” David set an example of righteousness for us. He respected the one in authority over him even though Saul was out to kill him.
How often do we disrespect those in authority over us? Do we join in bad-mouthing the boss when he’s out of ear-shot? Do we tear down the pastor or board members over trivial matters? God calls us to respect those he’s placed in authority over us, even if we don’t like them.
Saul exclaimed that David was more righteous than he because David didn’t kill him when he had the chance. He said that David repaid him good for evil. That’s hard to do. Proverbs 25:21-22 speaks of doing good for your enemy and it says that when we do this, we heap burning coals on the heads of our enemies.
The next passage in Samuel shows us a different side of David. He asked Nabal for help. Instead of graciously helping David, Nabal repaid evil for good and spurned David’s request. David’s first response was anger, and he headed off to slaughter Nabal and his entire household. Abigail heard of her husband’s foolishness and acted quickly to spare innocent lives. Her gifts appeased David, squelched his anger, and prevented bloodshed. God was then free to take vengeance on Nabal. God struck Nabal and he died.
How often do we want to take vengeance for wrongs done to us? Some of us live by an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, but if we step out of the way, God will take care of matters. Romans 12:19 says, “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.” God’s vengeance will be far more effective than our own, and it won’t leave us having to ask forgiveness for sins we commit in our anger.
Jesus boldly proclaimed that he was the Messiah, the Son of Almighty God. The people asked him point-blank whether he was the Messiah. His answer was, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me.” He told them that they didn’t believe because they were not his sheep. He then gave them some characteristics of his sheep. His sheep listen to him, they know him, and follow him. They have been given eternal life, and they will not perish.
If you are a follower of Christ, you will know him. You will walk in relationship with him. You will know his voice and listen to him. You have eternal life and will not perish. Rejoice fellow Christian!
Jesus also confirmed that his sheep are firmly in his grasp. They can not be snatched away! We are secure in his salvation!
What a beautiful psalm that gives us a picture of characteristics of God! I love verse two that says, “he bends down to listen.” Think of that! God loves you so much that he bends down to listen to your words of prayer. I picture a father bending down to eye-level to hear the words of his precious son or daughter. He cares and wants to know and understand what is in their heart. God loves you so much that he actively listens to your prayers, attentive to your every word.
Other characteristics of God that the psalmist lists are kind, good, and merciful. He also tells us that God protects, saves, and cares deeply for his children. I can rest in a God like that.