Monday, April 28, 2008

Overcome Evil with Good

Has someone you had the utmost respect for hurt you? Perhaps someone in the church. A brother or sister in the Lord either intentionally or unintentionally did something, said something or didn’t do something as agreed and it hurt deep inside. Seems like evil.

Saul was king over Israel, but disobeyed God. Therefore, David was chosen by the Lord to be the next king. Though Saul disobeyed, he was not removed immediately from his position. He was still king.

During Saul’s reign, he felt threatened by David and tried to kill him many times. Now David knew he was selected by God to be the next king. He narrowly escaped death by Saul. Perhaps justifiably David could have taken Saul out, but David did not.

Twice David spared Saul’s life. First, David and his men were in a cave in the desert. Saul went into the very cave where David was hidden. David’s men encouraged him to take out Saul. Starting to take advantage of the moment, David sneaked upon Saul undetected and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. But then his conscience struck him and he said, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” Then he would not let his men to attack Saul either. (1 Samuel 24:5-7)

He then went out, bowed down and prostrated himself before Saul, the king. David told him that he could have taken his life, but spared him. Saul wept and confessed he treated David badly. David gave an oath that he would not cut off Saul’s descendants.

The second time, Saul sets out to search for David. The Lord put Saul and all his men in a deep sleep. David went into Saul’s camp with Abishai. Abishai was ready to take Saul out in his sleep. But David said to him, “Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the LORD's anointed and be guiltless? As surely as the LORD lives," he said, "the LORD himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. But the LORD forbid that I should lay a hand on the LORD's anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let's go.” (1 Samuel 26:9-11)

Again David confronts Saul with some distance between them of course. Again Saul confessed that he sinned and promises not to harm David. David answered Saul by saying, “Here is the king's spear. Let one of your young men come over and get it. The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness. The LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the LORD's anointed. As surely as I valued your life today, so may the LORD value my life and deliver me from all trouble.” (1 Samuel 26:22-24)

After reading about how David dealt with Saul, a man who tried to kill him, I’m in awe how David refused to touch the Lord’s anointed. David recognized that the Lord placed Saul in the position he was in and had not removed him from it. David respected Saul for his position and left it up to God for when Saul was to be removed and David to take the throne. David did not manipulate or make things happen. He believed that what God told him would come to pass in God’s timing.

David was kind and generous to Saul in spite his cruelty to him. He did not repay evil for evil, but with good. Like David, we’re to be kind and generous to our brothers and sisters in the body of Christ—the Lord’s anointed, when some injustice happens to us. At some time, someone in the church is likely to do something that will hurt us, offend us or is just outright cruel. Would we like to see justice served? Of course. Do we feel like they’re our enemy? Probably.

Romans 12:17-21 NIV

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 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. On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Overcome evil with good Paul said. Perhaps by being kind and walking in forgiveness, they will see the grace of God in their lives and change their ways. Even if not, we will see God operate in our lives for HIS glory. He never fails!

Blessings in Christ--

9 gracious comments:

Fran said...

Hey girl...
This "being hurt by someone in the church" happened to me about a month ago. It was so painful. The only way I got through it was through prayer and keeping my heart in alignment with Christ.

I so badly wanted to stomp and pout and let the whole world know what happened. But, the Fran who tries so hard to walk close with Jesus knew that I couldn't do that.
Forgiveness was the key. It was a beautiful apology and reconciliation when the time was God's time.

Thanks for the good word my friend!

Alene said...

I have been hurt. Those hurts by loved ones are certainly the worse. Thanks for this gentle reminder of my responsibility. Blessings my friend. Are you ready for a great weekend?

Anonymous said...

I have always loved that scripture in Romans...if it is possible with you, live at peace with one another...I have to remember that all things are possible with God...although it so often feels like a knee jerk response to get ugly when wronged or hurt...but it is possible to live at peace with be overcome with God's goodness and not overcome with my flesh.

You did a truly wonderful job of continuing the theme through David's responses to Saul...thank you!

Blessings to you,


Ang baylis said...

What a great post! I so want to be like David. I've been hurt, too and sometimes want to repay them, but it's so comforting to know it's all in God's perfect hands!
Thank you for sharing, Shonda!
Angie xoxo

littlerad said...

I'm tagging you for a Meme A 6 word Memoir of your self check my blog for the rules have fun...

This happened to my hubby and I when we were still baby Christians it took a lot of praying to get us through it,I will keep you in my prayers...


Nise' said...

Amen..."He never fails". I am amazed at how He helps me to behave when all I want to do is retaliate! Many times I have had to recite Phil. 4:13 over and over.

Alana said...

Great post. Yes, being hurt by someone in the church or a fellow Christian is the hardest of all. I like how you tied that in with David's response to Saul.

Starla said...

Thank you for this post.

MrsProverbs31 said...

Someone said something to me that took me off guard. I wrestled with it for days. I met with my mentor and she prayed for me. She agreed with me and even showed me the Bible verses that would back me up, but I came home and I'm just as lost as can be. It was such a subtle statement I decided to just let go and pray about it.

I supposed it would help to remember that even though they are God's children, they are just human. I guess the greatest hurt comes from people of position, people who we have great respect for. God is good. He sees it all. Psalm 34:18.