Summary: No where in the bible does it tell us to treat people the way we want to or to get even with those who don't like us. The bible does teach us not to stoop to their level.
How to Deal with People Who Don’t Like You
“Woe to you when all people speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets. But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” Luke 6:26-28
Intro: Today we are pick up a story about David being pursued by his enemy Saul. On the Western side of the Dead Sea about 35 miles southeast of Jerusalem to an oasis. The spring water of Engedi is a source for aromatic plants used to make perfumes and medicinal suave. This was a major trade route along the road to Jerusalem near Engedi there was a cave.
The bible teaches in several places “How to Deal with People Who Don’t Like You.”
This story of David demonstrates to us how he trusted God to do that. David is hiding in a cave from Saul.
Because Saul is coming for his life. Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David. At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds. Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. (There is no nicer way to say that, you get the picture.) But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave!
“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.
Saul represents the person who liked David when he first met David. When Saul would be troubled in his soul He would call from music. David would come and play the harp and sing and calm his spirit.
Have you had people when you first meet them they just eat you up. I mean you are the best person they have ever met. You are a God send. You are the greatest and in a few weeks or months, something changes and they don’t like you. Has that ever happened to anyone in the room?
Saul’s son Jonathan played together. Saul’s son Jonathan and David were like brothers. Saul treated David like a son. When the Philistine army came to fight against Saul, when everyone else feared the Philistines it was David who went out and fought Goliath and won.
It is pretty easy for us to identify the way and the time when this love bromance turned sour. When David came in from the battle field after killing Goliath the women came out from the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing with joyful songs and tambourines. As they danced they sang: “Saul has slain thousands…, and David his tens of thousands.” Saul became jealous and became very angry. Saul was bitter and resentful. Saul was angry that the people credited David ten times more than him. The bible says “from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.” 1 Samuel 18:9
Some of Saul’s servants said to him, “An evil spirit has been sent to torment you” which sometimes sent Saul into depression and sometimes made him “rave like a madman.” On more than one occasion Saul got so angry at David, he took a spear and threw it at David - just missing him.
This is where we pickup in our scripture text today in 1Samuel 19. The story takes a turn from bad to worse, as Saul began to pursue David with his army to kill him. To make things worse the Prophet Samuel who had anointed Saul as King prophecies that David will become the future King of Israel. So to say that Saul who once loved David as a son no longer liked David is an understatement.
As a side note for those of you who want much more out of this story and to take a deeper look at your own life most opinions about Saul make him out to be the villain in this story. He is presented as a very one-dimensional character, a flawed ruler, a crazy madman. Yes, we know that Saul had rejected God and therefore God’s favor turns to David to become the future King and thus the lineage by which Jesus the Son of God would come into the world. But in a strange twist of fate while Saul sinned against God so later did David. What irony!
The real paradox is why did God invest in Saul and choose Saul to be the King? Might not God have ordained him to be just as great as his successor David would be? Could not God have easily brought about the messianic line through Saul instead of David? It was possible that Saul could have been part of the messianic line because the punishment for Saul’s transgression are forgivable by the mercy and grace of God. Instead of Jesus being called the son of David, he could have been called the son of Saul.