Monday, April 8, 2013

On the Run: I Sam 22-24

One of the true marks of humility and maturity is an unoffendable heart.  An unoffendable heart doesn't just make excuses for others when they are hurt.  It truly choose not to take up offense against those who unjustly hurt him.  Instead that person looks to God to make things right and looks forward, moving on.  David gives us a powerful example of this and God doesn't disappoint.

David had shown Saul sterling service and in return, the jealous Saul was chasing him down to kill him.  No offense allowed.

Jonathan loyally protected and encouraged him, but none of Saul's other men did.  His followers are the outcasts of the land.  He is glad to have any friends, even these.  He's not offended that his friends from the battlefield aren't there. No offense allowed.

David's family had always treated him with less than sterling respect.  He wasn't even invited to the coronation dinner that Samuel called.  His brothers made fun of him.  His parents used him for the lowest job in the household.  Yet, when David is on the run and his family is in jeopardy, he makes sure they are safe in a stronghold out of the country.  No offense allowed.

Saul kills the entire priesthood in return for their unwitting support of David and only Abithiar escapes.  In Israel, this is high treason against God.  If there were any time that David had a right to oppose Saul, this would have been it.  Instead, he just welcomes Abithiar into his little troop and moves on.  In return, it is David who is able to seek and hear from the Lord--not Saul.  No offense allowed.

David sees that Keliah is being looted by the Philistines.  He's not king yet.  He's on the run.  It could leave him vulnerable to come to their defense but he does it anyway.  Of course, no good deed goes unpunished, so when Saul sets out to capture him at Keliah, David seeks out God for his next move.  He doesn't get upset when God tells him that he will be turned over by the men of Keliah, he just moves on.  David not only isn't offended, he doesn't leave room for them to hurt him.  No offense allowed.

Jonathan finds him in the desert and encourages him.  He can't stay, but again, No offense allowed.

You would think Saul would get a clue when he comes within a mountain's distance of capturing David and is called away to fight the Philistines, but he doesn't.  As soon as the distraction is done, he's right back at chasing David.  No offense allowed.

David literally catches Saul with his pants down, but only takes the corner of his coat--and feels guilty about even that.  In this dialogue, David reveals the secret to his unoffendable heart.  He appeals to God as the judge between them.  It is above his paygrade to make things right when he is wrongly accused.  That's God's job.  No offense allowed.

As a result, Saul repents with tears over his insane chase, but David knows better than to come out of hiding.  He may have won that battle, but the war is far from over.  No offense allowed. 

What unjust battles are you fighting today?  Is there anywhere you can rely on God to make things right instead of defending yourself? 

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