Do we step off of the path of revenge when someone attacks us, or do we stay on it and hurl stones of retaliation at them?
David almost boo-booed, for he was about to seek revenge.
In Chapter 25 of First Samuel is the story of stepping out of the way and allowing God to dispense revenge.
When David sent his men to speak to Nabal about joining him to celebrate a festive meal in return for David’s kind treatment and protection of Nabal’s shepherds, Nabal (meaning fool), who couldn’t have cared less, turned them away by not receiving them in hospitality and insulted David.
Therefore, David’s intention of revenge was to kill Nabal and all the males in his household. David had resisted taking vengeance on Saul, but here, his heart sought a path of revenge.
Nabal’s wife Abigail went to David to appease him with her words and a large gift, for David was about to do something he would later regret. She persuaded him that his own efforts for revenge were not in keeping with the Lord’s desires and to let the Lord settle the matter rather than taking vengeance into his own hands.
David then said to Abigail, “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me! And blessed is your advice and blessed are you, because you have kept me this day from coming to bloodshed and from avenging myself with my own hand.” (1 Sam. 25:32-33 NKJV)
And ten days later, “the Lord struck Nabal, and he died.” (1 Sam. 25:38 NKJV)
In other words, “Let [the Lord] do what seems good to Him.” (1 Sam. 3:18b AMPC)
But Abigail said something very interesting.
In her persuasal to David, she said, “Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God.” (1 Sam. 25:29a KJV)
This is taken from the custom of binding up items of great value in a bundle to prevent their being injured or thrown out.
Just as our lives are of great value in the sight of the Lord and bundled together with His Life. Bundled for safe keeping. Not to be thrown out.
And the rest of what Abigail said…
“…and the lives of your enemies He shall sling out, as from the pocket of a sling.” (1 Sam. 25:29b NKJV)
But this makes me think of other stones. Stones jangling in pockets, bumping against each other, waiting to be hurled.
One day, Paul witnessed the stoning of Stephen. As the Jewish leaders took their religious stance, fingers tightly clutching their stones of condemnation, Paul stood there, as one of the crowd, watching, while he held the garments of the other witnesses, making it easier for them to hurl the stones of pharisaical piety that ended Stephen’s life.
However, aren’t we like this? Ready to sling out rocks of revenge at our enemies? And even at those we call our friends? We sling rocks of offense, stones of abuse, pebbles of insults, all causing wounds of retaliation.
And Paul says, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” (Rom. 12:19 NIV)
Do we step off of the path of revenge when someone attacks us, or do we stay on it and hurl those stones of retaliation or pharisaical piety at them?
If you are bound in the bundle of Life with the Lord, leave the slinging to Him.
May you treat others as you would treat Jesus, with love and consideration…Lynn