(Saul said to David) “You are more righteous than I”
I Samuel 24:17
If someone says to you “You’re a better man than me” or “You’re a better woman than me,” it’s rarely spoken
with sincerity, but rather in jest. That’s because they really don’t believe it. But Saul did. When he said this
to David he had come to understand that David could have taken his life by reciprocating with the kind of
behavior Saul had shown to him. But David determined that he would choose to repay Saul’s hate with love.
Did David really want to spare Saul’s life when he had the golden opportunity to be rid of him once
and for all? Of course not.
We all have had times when we can justify revenge against someone who has wronged us. In fact,
if we think back we’ll likely find that we already have. A lot. But have you ever stopped to think how that
must make God feel? The word of God says “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge…..I am the Lord!”
(Leviticus 19:18). “Do not take revenge, leave room for God’s wrath…..It is mine to avenge;
I will repay.” (Romans 12:19)
In other words, by taking matters into our own hands, we are negating God’s authority. Like we could do a
better job with our own plan of retaliation. Instead of loving others as we love ourselves, vengeance is the
opposite. It’s like saying that Jesus’ dying on the cross didn’t quite do the trick, that God’s plan of salvation
needs a little help from us. Now that got your attention, didn’t it. It boils down to who to trust.
Do we trust in ourselves or trust in God?
What would happen if we responded in love instead of retaliation or rebuttal and then see no results for
taking the high road? Think of all those times when you’ve done something good and then wondered why
you bothered. It went unappreciated, or worse, unnoticed. We waited for God to do something miraculous,
saw nothing happen, and the bad guys got away with what they did scot free. Or did they?
What could God have known that we didn’t?
The other thing is that we think our little plan of revenge will put out the fire. The bad goes away and the
good steps up to the plate and hits a home run. That would be like trying to put out a fire with oil.
Now it just got worse. We have a bonfire.
Back to David: it wasn’t easy for him to resist killing Saul while he was sleeping. Surely he wanted to.
Easiest target anyone could wish for. But instead he forgave. And David became a powerful leader and
plenty rich besides. Not only that, but Saul admitted that David was a better man than he.
Saul had a moment. He saw the light. That sure wouldn’t have happened if David hadn’t done
the godly thing.
You want power? Then be the one to forgive. All the power of Heaven and Earth is at your disposal.
Forgiving isn’t for sissies. It’s the tough choice. And it’s for beginners as well as mature Christians.
Some things remain the same and Jesus was clear about this one. Love one another and forgive those
who wrong you. Let God take care of it like you were instructed to do in the first place.