Summary: Learn from King David how to deal with people who cause you pain and hurt you.
SEEKING GOD FAITHFULLY-
A LOOK AT THE LIFE OF DAVID
"How To Deal With People Who Hurt You"
In a recent issue of READER’S 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 I’m here so often. You see, I live with my nephew. I can’t stand him, and I am not going to die and leave him with a refrigerator full of food." Great attitude, wouldn’t 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, "I’m young and I’m 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, "I’m old and I’m 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. Smith’s telephone rang at exactly 3 A.M. "This is the professor," said the caller. "I just wanted you to know that I don’t 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 don’t get mad, I get even! BOY now that’s 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 wasn’t long before God sent him some companionship. I Samuel 22:1 says, "...and when his brothers and all his father’s household heard of it, they went down there to him." Others soon joined also. The next verse records: "And everyone who was in distress, and everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented, gathered to him; and he became captain over them. Now there were about four hundred men with him."
David was able to discipline that rag-tag group of misfits into a small army that would ultimately come to be known as "David’s Mighty Men."
David left the cave of Adullum upon word from the prophet Gad that he would no longer be safe there. He and his men went and hid out in the forests of Judah.
Saul continued to pursue David. I Samuel 23:14 says, "And Saul sought him every day, but God did not deliver him into his hand." David had little rest from the pursuit of Saul. Day after day he was on the run.
Now, it is important for you to remember that David had done nothing to deserve this trouble, and by now he has had quite a belly full of Saul’s insane jealousy. If it was vengeance he wanted, he soon would get his chance.
Read 1 Sam 24:1-4. Saul goes into a cave by himself to go to the bathroom. Who happened to be in the back of the cave? David. Here was his chance to kill Saul. Even his men said- "Hey, here’s you’re opportunity. This is God’s way of providing you a chance to move into the position he’s promised you. Go get him, David! This is your moment."