Resist the Temptation to Seek Revenge
Bible Text: 1 Samuel 24 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: David: Committed Living
1 Samuel 24:1–3 After Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David had gone into the wilderness of En-gedi. So Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats. At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave!
Peer pressure can lead to bad decisions
1 Samuel 24:4 Now’s your opportunity! David’s men whispered to him. Today the Lord is telling you, I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish. So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe.
Who is it that has the right for retaliation?
When are we justified to prevail when we are wronged?
It is not wrong for Believers to defend ourselves when we are mistreated, but we must do so with a proper attitude!
At times life can be unfair and that is not fair!
Ephesians 4:1 …therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called…
1 Peter 2:20–24 Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing good and endure it patiently, God is pleased with you. For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.
Why didn’t Jesus defend himself?
Mark 15:1–5 …Pilate asked Jesus, Are you the king of the Jews? Jesus replied, You have said it. Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, and Pilate asked him, aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you? But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.
1 Samuel 24:5 But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe.
God has created in us a conscience
Proverbs 28:13 People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy.
Romans 2:12–16 …For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. It is obeying the law that makes us right in his sight. Even Gentiles, who do not have God’s written law, show that they know his law when they instinctively obey it, even without having heard it. They demonstrate that God’s law is written in their hearts, for their own conscience and thoughts either accuse them or tell them they are doing right. And this is the message I proclaim—that the day is coming when God, through Christ Jesus, will judge everyone’s secret life.
1 Samuel 24:6–8 The Lord knows I shouldn’t have done that to my lord the king, he said to his men. 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. So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul.
After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way, David came out and shouted after him,
My lord the king! And when Saul looked around, David bowed low before him.
We are to never touch the “Lord’s Anointed”
Living a committed life requires us to learn to trust the Lord for our lives, reputations and position in life
1 Samuel 24:9-10 Then he shouted to Saul, Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you? This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, I will never harm the king—he is the Lord’s anointed one.
1 Samuel 24:11–15 Look, my father, at what I have in my hand.. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me.
May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. As that old proverb says, from evil people come evil deeds.
So you can be sure I will never harm you. Who is the king of Israel trying to catch anyway? Should he spend his time chasing one who is as worthless as a dead dog or a single flea? May the Lord therefore judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!
God is the only One who has the final right to punish those who have hurt us!
When we have forgiven others and do not retaliate it does not necessarily mean we can have a trusting relationship.
There is a difference between forgiving and reconciling
2 Corinthians 7:9–11 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
The difference is David’s heart and that his repentance produced amazing change:
Psalms 142:1-7 I cry out to the Lord with my voice; With my voice to the Lord I make my supplication. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare before Him my trouble. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, Then You knew my path. In the way in which I walk they have secretly set a snare for me. Look on my right hand and see, For there is no one who acknowledges me; Refuge has failed me; No one cares for my soul.
I cried out to You, O Lord: I said, You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. Attend to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than I. Bring my soul out of prison. That I may praise Your name; The righteous shall surround me or You shall deal bountifully with me.