"How To Deal With People Who Hurt You"
1 Samuel 24:1-6


In a recent issue of READERíS DIGEST, Janey Walser wrote these words: I once worked in a grocery store and often assisted elderly people when they came in. One woman shopped nearly every day, asking for just a few items each time. After a month, she said to me, "I suppose you wonder why Iím here so often. You see, I live with my nephew. I canít stand him, and I am not going to die and leave him with a refrigerator full of food." Great attitude, wouldnít you say?

An elderly lady was getting ready to pull her Cadillac into a parking space when a young man whipped into her spot in his red sports car. He got out....she said, "who do you think you are sonny?" and he replied, "Iím young and Iím fast." He went on into the mall. When he returned to his car, he found the elderly woman taking her caddy and backing up and ramming his sports car, back and forth... He said, "Lady, who do you think you are?" she said, "Iím old and Iím rich."
One more story. A college professor answered his telephone at 3:00 A.M. "This is your neighbor, Mr. Smith," said the voice. "Your dog is barking and keeping me awake." The professor thanked him kindly and hung up. The next morning Mr. Smithís telephone rang at exactly 3 A.M. "This is the professor," said the caller. "I just wanted you to know that I donít have a dog!"
What these stories have in common, of course is that they all involve vengeance - getting mad and getting even - something that is as natural as breathing for the majority of the human race.
Our natural reaction is retaliation. I donít get mad, I get even! BOY now thatís a proud slogan.
It is just human nature if you are cursed at- to curse back. You are insulted, insult in return, you are struck in the cheek - strike back. And we get caught up in a cycle of vengeance.
Retaliation is always hard to identify because it masquerades as a sense of justice "I have the right to retaliate" we say. "I am just giving them a little dose of what they gave me." "I am just helping them feel what I felt when they hurt me."

Have you ever been hurt very badly by someone and fought the urge to go over and even things up? If you have, then you have walked a path that many others have walked before you, including David, the soon-to-be king of Israel, whose life we have been studying from First and Second Samuel. If ever there were a case that could be made for taking vengeance, it is in the passage we are going to look at this morning. Please turn to I Samuel 24.

We left David last time in the Cave of Adullum, chased there by Saul, he was discouraged, defeated, and pouring out his heart in song. He had lost all his worldly possessions and was desperately crying out to God in prayer.
It wasnít long before God sent him some companionship. I Samuel 22:1 says, "...and when his brothers and