Hate and Jealousy… Murder, Mercy and Blessing

Each time that I commit to read the One Year Chronological Bible, it feels like I am just setting myself up for failure. There will be days that I miss or that I am rushed or that, quite frankly, I just don’t feel like reading which makes me feel guilty. I’ve had a couple of those days in 2014, but overall it has been good. I’ve even noticed that some days, like today, what I am reading is exactly what I needed. Or, I am simply amazed that a book written thousands of years ago (or however long ago) is timeless and there is so much that can be gained in this modern day era.

Today’s reading on April 17 was fascinating for me. Saul hates David and will do anything in his power to take him down. In fact, Saul wishes David were dead. Why? Personally, I think its jealousy and hatred. “For wherever there is jealousy and selfish ambition, there you will find disorder and evil of every kind.” James 3:16. “Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.” 1 John 3:15. Jealousy and hatred are ugly demons indeed.

Meanwhile, David had the opportunity to murder Saul but he didn’t take it. Saul entered the cave that David was in and David cut off a piece of Saul’s robe. But then his conscious began bothering him so he did not proceed forward to attack or kill Saul. David said “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… I cut it [a piece of your robe] 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.” 1 Sam 24:1-11.

Saul said “you are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the Lord put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it. Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power?” 1 Sam 24:17-18. In that moment, Saul understood the situation and he told David “may the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown to me today.” 1 Sam 24:19.

In life, there are times when we are Saul and times when we are David. My favorite thing about this passage is that Saul understood the mercy that David had given him.  Therefore, Saul was thankful to David for the mercy he was shown. Rather than continuing to try to hunt David down and kill him, Saul turned around and spoke a blessing over him.

Though it may take time and patience , “When people’s lives please the LORD, even their enemies are at peace with them.” Proverbs 16:7.

Coffee cheers your way.

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