Tag Archives: turn the other cheek

I Samuel 19; It Takes Two To Tango

Saul had one goal in life, and it totally consumed him. He wanted David dead more than anything. David, on the other hand, had nothing against Saul. If David had his way, the two would be friends.

Throughout their story we will see Saul do many means things to David. But we won’t see David return evil for evil.

I would say that during the 23 years I was a middle school counselor, the majority of my time was spent dealing with adolescent friendships. More than anything academic, relationships were far and away the number one thing on the minds of those children. Most of the time a child’s instinct was to strike back at someone who they felt wronged them.

“She started it.”

“He hit me first.”

“She said something about my mom.”

“He was talking about me.

And somehow, in their minds those things seemed to justify their own bad behavior. I would often quote Romans 12:21 to them:

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Most of the time they’d look at me like I had grown antlers or something.

Jesus tells us to love our enemies, to pray for those who are mean to us. (Matt 5:44) Easier said than done, because I don’t think revenge is a concept exclusive to adolescents.

Have you heard the phrase, “It takes two to tango”? It takes two of you to have a battle. If one of you refuse to fight back, it isn’t a fight.

Saul heard that David was in Naioth. So the king sent some of his men to go get David. But when Saul’s men got there, they walked into a church service instead of a battle. They joined the church service.

So Saul sent another band of thugs to capture David. And when these men observed David and the people praising God, they praised God, too

This must have been quite the church service because Saul sent a third group of men to do the deed. The third group of men? They dropped their weapons and raised their hands in worship, too.

“Ok. Enough of this,” Saul must have thought. “If you want something done right, you do it yourself.” So with every intention of taking care of David himself, he marched into Naioth, probably spitting nails.

Something happened to Saul, though, when he saw the Spirit of God moving among the people. At least for the time being, he forgot his mission of evil, and began prophesying too, by the Holy Spirit.

Saul had expected to go to battle with David. David refused to go to battle with Saul. And at least for the moment, good did overcome evil, and David’s life was spared.

Matthew Henry said David was delivered, not as he’d delivered his lambs by killing lions, but by turning lions into lambs.

I like that idea.

Do you want to get rid of an enemy? Start by being nice to him or her. You might even turn them into a friend.  It’s not impossible.

It’s Scriptural.

 

May 17 – Keeping the Course

2 Samuel 16-18

Shimei was not a fan. When King David’s son Absalom decided to steal the kingdom from his dad, Shimei followed Absalom. Out with the old, in with the new, he may have been thinking.

Maybe it was a little like our modern world. I mean, old people like the old hymns. Let’s be progressive and bring in the bands. Old people believe in hard work and earning what you have. Let’s let the government just give us what we want. Out with the old… I digress.

Or do I?

All of us with differing opinions can learn from David’s example. Shimei was throwing stones, calling David names, trying to get people riled up against David by following the king around and advocating for David’s enemy.

Now, if this were a presidential debate, David would pick up a few stones himself and hurl them at Shimei. He’d think of meaner names to call Shimei, maybe even have some choice words to say about Shimei’s wife. David would probably demand Shimei be removed from his presence, or killed for disrespecting him.

But instead, David said; “Let him be” and the king kept walking. Shimei kept hurling stones but David kept the course.

I’m afraid we’ve come to believe life is a reality TV show. We so often get caught up in the drama. The truth is, we don’t have to react every time someone “disrespects” us, or disagrees with us, taunts us, or even lies about us.

That’s not to say we lie down and play dead, either. David didn’t just hand the kingdom over to Absalom because Shimei was treating him badly. Jesus said we were to turn the other cheek. But Jesus also overturned the tables in the temple.

Christian, when people say we are hate-filled bigots, let’s not prove them right by our response. Let’s, like David, refuse to get into a war of words. Instead, let’s keep the course. Remember, our enemies are not homosexuals, abortionists, murderers, or liars. Our enemy is Satan.

Jesus died for sinners. Let’s not forget that. Satan would have us lose focus and fight insignificant battles. My prayer is that we will keep our eyes on Jesus, that we will honor Him with our reactions as well as our actions.

And I pray that, as we keep the course, people will be drawn to the Savior.