If you are like me, you have lost track of all of the times that Saul has attempted to take the life of David. Although Saul had been initially blessed by the fact that David had conquered Goliath in battle and soothed his own spirit with music, that sense of blessing had turned to jealousy. The jealousy had grown to animosity resulting in murderous attempts. From spear throwing to vulnerable placement in battle to personal cross country pursuit, Saul seemed almost unable to rest until David was dead.
David, meanwhile, was like a refugee running to save his life. Although there had been many close calls, still he had successfully eluded Saul. And then, quite unexpectedly, the opportunity of a lifetime was afforded him. While David and his men hid in a cave, Saul, the very man who was bent on killing him, stepped into the cave to . . . (Well, you read it, didn’t you?) With David’s men whispering to him words of encouragement to take Saul’s life, David responded:
“The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the Lord.” (24:6)
Faced with a golden opportunity for revenge, David did not follow through.
When tensions rise between you and someone else . . . when injustices are committed against you . . . when false accusations are made and hurtful action is taken . . . revenge is the natural response. It seems like the other person is deserving of painful words or spiteful actions of at least equal intensity. And, frankly, it may also seem as if your own spirit will only find rest when such words are spoken or such action is taken.
But David’s decision was the right one – both for him and for you! God is the One who will ultimately judge. He is the One who will ultimately bring about justice. He is the One who will ultimately take vengeance (Rom. 12:17-21). Instead of seeking revenge, we can relax and surrender the situation to Him.