(Read 1 Samuel 24:7-22)
Today I will continue with “Faith and Patience Volume 5 – Greater is Coming!” Yesterday we saw how David had a great opportunity to kill Saul while he was using the bathroom in a cave. But David chose to spare Saul’s life. After the King left the cave and was on his way, David came out and shouted after him, “My lord the King!” I can only imagine the look on Saul’s face when he turned around and saw David. The man he had been hunting for months was standing right there, in front of his very eyes. Not only that, but David was so comfortable (and not afraid) that he bowed down before Saul, as he had always done, showing Saul that he still had respect for the King, even though the feeling was not mutual.
David then shouted, “Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you? This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the LORD placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the LORD’s anointed one.’ Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me.”
As I think about it, David became a conduit of God’s grace and mercy that day. Grace is what happens when God gives you the GOOD you don’t deserve. Mercy is what happens when God withholds the BAD you clearly deserve. David did both towards Saul. This was grace and mercy in operation. Furthermore, David gave Saul the same honor and respect he always had shown him, which is a great example for us today. David did not allow the actions of Saul to cause him to act differently. David maintained his integrity, even though Saul had lost his.
David went on to say, “May the LORD judge between us. Perhaps the LORD will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds.’ So you can be sure I will never harm you. Who is the king of Israel trying to catch anyway? Should he spend his time chasing one who is as worthless as a dead dog or a single flea? May the LORD therefore judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!” Wow. Not only did David maintain his integrity, and not only did he let his father-in-law know that he could have killed him that day, but he also let him know that he was relying on God to judge Saul — knowing that vengeance and recompense are the Lord’s.
David made it clear that the LORD Himself, as his personal advocate, would rescue him from Saul’s power. David’s trust and confidence were in God and God alone! I want to get to Saul’s reaction, but I will stop here for today, and we will pick it up from here tomorrow.
So what does this mean for you today? A few things:
1. Dealing with difficult people is part of the package.
— You are not going to become the man/woman God called you to be in a vacuum. Since God has called you to advance His Kingdom in the real world, your processing requires dealing with real people, many of whom will be difficult to deal with.
— If you can’t deal with difficult people and situations, then you are not ready to be used of God in a mighty way.
— Remember, if you read the end of the book (the Bible), the goal is for the kingdoms of this world to become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ (Revelation 11:5). God expects us to advance His Kingdom on this planet. God wants His Kingdom to affect, with effects and influence, the people of this world and the systems of this world. Guess what? That is not going to happen through you if you are not willing to deal with difficult people. Simply put, if you want to become a person of influence, you will have to embrace the grace to deal with people, the difficult ones included.
— David went from a teenage nobody to national hero, to a member of the royal family, to public enemy #1, all in a short period of time. David may not have known it, but all those changes were actually preparing him for his life’s assignment. Guess what? All the changes you go through and all the changes you see in people’s actions/attitudes towards you are also preparing you for your life’s assignment. Embrace the grace to handle the changes and the difficult people who cause them, because it is all part of your preparation. Greater is coming for you!
2. Never allow the actions of others to cause you to change who you are.
— In yesterday’s message, I told you that you should never drop down to someone else’s level. Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, you go high!” As a believer who is being led by the Holy Spirit, you can maintain your integrity, even when others are being “shady” towards you. This is exactly what David did.
— Saul changed when David received praise from the people and he did everything he could to stab David in the back, ultimately getting to the point where he tried, time and time again, to have David killed. However, David never changed his attitude towards Saul. David remained the same, even though Saul did not.
— Even after all the attacks Saul launched against David, when the two men were face-to-face, David bowed down before the King, just like he always had. This was to show the King that he had not changed. In tomorrow’s text, we will see that Saul acknowledged that David was the better man. The lesson here is that you should be who God made you to be, period, and you must never allow the actions of others to cause you to change!
3. God is the judge!
— When you know God is the ultimate judge, and you believe He is Lording over your life (leading you and giving you divine protection), you know two things for sure: 1) you can be at peace when you know you have not done anything wrong, and 2) you know God will ultimately cause your enemies to reap a harvest on the seeds they are sowing against you. Knowing these two things gives you PEACE!
— I love how David said to Saul, “May the LORD judge between us.” David was basically saying, in today’s language:
“Listen, I know I have not done anything wrong to you. I also know that you are ‘trippin! So I am going to maintain my integrity. I will not change. And I know that God will ultimately GET YOU BACK for what you are doing to me. For now, I sleep well at night, knowing that the issue is not with me!”
— I can recall several situations while I was in the military, where someone put my name in their mouth in a bad way. When word got back to me, towards the latter half of my career, I was actually in a position to do something about it. I could have sought revenge. I could have negatively influenced their careers. But in every case, I left it alone. I gave it to God. If I know I did nothing wrong, I have nothing to worry about. God is the judge. In the end, a couple of those guys wound up coming to me to apologize. Others did not make it far in their careers. I did not have to get involved. Like David, I could sleep well at night, knowing that the issue was not with me! This is all part of developing Godly character, and it is part of the process of living by faith and patience. While I hope you are enjoying this series, let me be clear about something. Don’t expect GREATER TO COME TO YOU if you are going to violate God’s ways. God expects you to walk in love, to meditate on His Word, to be led of His Spirit, and to be a man/woman of integrity and honor. If you are not committed to living this way, don’t fool yourself into thinking that GREATER IS COMING FOR YOU!
4. If you can maintain your integrity in challenging times, you will develop Godly patience in the process.
— Being a person of integrity means that you say what you mean, you mean what you say, and you follow through with actions that align with your words.
— When you are a person of integrity, your “video” matches your “audio.” What people hear you say, and then see you do, line up with one another. Anyone can “say it,” but when the pressure is on, many fail to “do it.” Your actions, especially during trying times, will either prove or disprove your integrity.
— If you develop Godly patience (which is a major part of this series), you will not be moved by what people do to you or by what is going on around you. You will only be moved by the Holy Spirit IN YOU!
5. You can be humble and BOLD at the same time.
— David extended Saul grace and mercy in the cave, but he then had the courage and boldness to address the man who was trying to kill him, face-to-face, in front of Saul’s 3,000 elite forces. Right there, in front of everyone, David made it clear that while he was not going to touch the king, he was confident that God would.
— The same man who bowed down to the King after sparing his life, turned around and told the king that his judgment day was coming and that it would come from the LORD Almighty! If there is one thing that is lacking from Christianity today it is boldness. You can be humble and BOLD at the same time!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for loving, blessing, and keeping me all the days of my life. I know I will come up against opposition. I know there will be some who fight against me because of the assignment You have given me. But I refuse to allow the actions of others to change me. I know whom You have made me to be, and I shall be that person every day of my life. I say what I mean, I mean what I say, and I follow up my words with the corresponding action. My “video” matches my “audio.” I am a person of integrity. The trials and challenges I face help prove it. I am led of You to say what You need said and to do what You need done. If that requires being bold, I shall be bold. If that requires courage, I am very courageous. I don’t back down, cave in, or quit. GREATER IS COMING FOR ME! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!