Day Thirty-One: Honoring and Valuing Others

READ:  1 Samuel 26:7-11

(7) So David and Abishai entered the encampment by night, and there he was–Saul, stretched out asleep at the center of the camp, his speak stuck in the ground hear his head, with Abner and the troops sound asleep on all sides.

(8) Abishai said, “This is the moment!  God has put your enemy in your grasp.  Let me nail him to the ground with his spear.  One hit will do it, believe me; I won’t need a second!”

(9) But David said to Abishai, “Don’t you dare hurt him!  Who could lay a hand on God’s anointed and even think of getting away with it?”

(10-11) He went on, “As God lives, either God will strike him, or his time will come and he’ll die in bed, or he’ll fall in battle, but God forbid that I should lay a finger on God’s anointed.  Now, grab the spear at his head and the water jug and let’s get out of here.”

THINK:  Earlier in 1 Samuel, God anointed David to be the future king of Israel, even though Saul was still on the throne.  This man, overcome with cruelty, jealousy, evil, and insecurity, then repeatedly attempted to take David’s life.  For many years, David hid from Saul’s army.

          One night, David and Abishai sneak into Saul’s camp, and there Abishai notices the perfect opportunity to kill Saul.  But David refuses.  David is so certain of God’s sovereignty that he refuses to kill Saul.

          We all have enemies, big or small, and desire for them to come to ruin.  Yet ponder the interchange between Saul and David in verses 21-24.

PRAY:  Think of the people you consider your enemies.  Pray for them and ask God to help you honor them, even though doing so may seem impossible.

LIVE:  Seek out intentional opportunities to honor those who dishonor you and to value the lives of those who do not value you.

At this time in my life, I believe I am fortunate to be able to say that there is nobody that I hate.  I have had a hard time dealing with people who have made false accusations against us.  I have had a hard time dealing with the people who did not really defend my husband.  But, I cannot say that I hate them.  I do not wish ill upon them.  I do not hope that Jesus comes back before any of them should become saved (if they aren’t already).  I do not even really wish for a retrial.  For as much as I want vindication, I do not really want it as someone else’s expense, even though they didn’t mind getting their false vindication at our expense.   But…that has not always been the case in my life.  There have been plenty of times when I have wanted the person who hurt me to pay for what they did to me.  But all that ever did for me was keep me in bondage to the person who hurt me and to the event that happened.  What it did was kept me from living a life of freedom that God calls His children to live. 

I wish I could say that everyone I knew was sitting in this same boat with me and that there weren’t people in my life who felt the same way I do, but that would be foolish.  There are plenty of people who would take up our cause for us, and seek out the people responsible for our current situation.  I know because they’ve told us that they are merely waiting for the word “GO.”  That word, I assure them all, will not come from us.  No good purpose is going to be served by our seeking revenge.  Vengeance belongs to the Lord.  So, regardless of how badly I’ve been hurt, I have to believe that God knows what He’s doing better than me, and that He has an ultimate plan for this thing in our lives.  This plan, I am convinced, is one that will, if at all possible, end up with all possible parties being reconciled back to Himself.  Sometimes that means He has to bend us.  Sometimes that means He has to break us.  Sometimes he just breaks off a shard and glues it back into place.  Sometimes, He throws down the whole jar and so that He can be the one to put all the pieces back together.  BUT, He always puts everything back together and, when He’s done, the piece is stronger than it was before.  And I know that, if I try to handle things, this will not be the base. 

I don’t always understand.  In fact, I think I don’t even understand 1/4 of the time.  But, the longer I walk this path, the more I realize that I don’t have to understand it.  I don’t have to explain it.  I just have to walk it.  And keep walking.  And keep walking, until He takes me home.


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