When someone insults or offends you, do you often have to fight back your gut instinct to cut off his head, put it on a post and let the birds feed on it? Come on, let’s talk. You can tell me. Or are you perfect and reflexively say a prayer for Jesus to save his soul? If that is you, then you can skip the rest of this article and go back to reading your Bible. Now for the rest of us…
I’ve been reading about David in 1 and 2 Samuel lately. He is so interesting. For a “man after God’s own heart”, he sure had some issues. Hope lives for all of us. In 1 Samuel 25, David protected Nabal’s shepherds and sheep. David sent his men ahead to Nabal’s house requesting payment for this protection and Nabal replied, “Who is David?” and goes on to say that it will be a cold day before David gets anything from him. What a bad move. “Put on your swords!” David commanded 400 of his men (1 Samuel 25:13) and off they rode to wreak death and destruction upon this man and his entire family. “May God strike me and kill me if even one man of his household is still alive tomorrow morning!” (1 Samuel 25:22).
Talk about ticking off the wrong person. Fortunately for this “worthless” man, Nabal, he had a very wise and discerning wife, Abigail. She loaded up her donkeys with baked goods, wine, meat, fruit and bread and headed off to meet David en route. She accepted blame for her husband’s folly and pleaded for his life. To quickly wrap this up, David decided not to avenge the insult by his own hands; instead God struck Nabal down and David ended up marrying his wife.
So what’s the take away here, you ask? Marry a good woman? Sure, that always helps. But more importantly, we should allow God to fight our battles. I think I posted that recently. God must be trying to teach me something. But He is a far better Judge and Avenger than us. I think of Jesus, who was mocked, slapped, beaten, whipped, nailed and stabbed and He never spoke a word in His defense. Instead one of His last sentences was “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34). Jesus knew the next chapter in the Story. He knew that the power of God was with Him. God overcame all of the insults and brutality inflicted upon His Son by raising Him from the dead. We can also have this same confidence by knowing that the same power that raised Jesus can overcome our critics and detractors. They can’t hold us down. Feel the freedom in allowing God to handle those issues for you and move forward in victory. We should even pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:44).
But don’t pray for God to strike them dead. That wouldn’t be nice.