In our study (Wed. nights) in the book of 1st Samuel, I am finding it interesting how David deals with his enemies. We have read of his exploits in war, killing Goliath the great Philistine, and we have read of his going to battle on behalf of the nation.
Tonight we will cover one (possibly two) enemies of David’s and see something quite different. In chapter 24 we see him have a great opportunity to rid himself of Saul once and for all. As Saul goes into a cave to “relieve himself”, David and his men are hiding in the inner recesses of this cave. Though urged by his men to kill Saul, David, guided by his conscience, refuses to “lift his hand against the Lord’s anointed.” There are some great lessons there about trusting God with those whom we perceive as enemies. There is also a lesson about honoring God’s chosen man. (I’m thinking about my struggles with our current president) :-).
We need to be careful who we would seek to deride or harm, it could be that we would find ourselves fighting God himself.
In this case, David gives us a great example,… he trusts God.
We should too.
In chapter 25, we see David’s enemy Nabal. Nabal refuses to honor David, which would have been a good thing for him to do, since David and his men had provided security to Nabal’s land.
Nabal is a dope with a good wife.
God ends up using Nabal’s wife Abigail to prevent David from exercising personal vengeance against Nabal and his family. In this case God intervenes, on behalf of David, keeping him from sin. David ends up with the good wife, and God kills Nabal on his own. God can and will take care of his, (and our) enemies.
Was David just in killing Goliath? Yes, it was a God-ordained war with the enemies of God’s people, it was not murder, it was judgement.
Would David have been justified in killing Saul? Saul (and his 3,000 men) did pose a threat to David and his 400 men… I think it’s an interesting question. Regardless, we see David instinctively led by a higher, and more righteous position.
Jesus taught us to “love our enemies, and pray for those who persecute us.” –Matt. 5:44
Would David have been justified in killing Nabal? This seems clearer to me as God intervenes… and David confessses in 25:33, that he would have been “avenging himself by his own hand.” -“Vengeance is mine, says the Lord”
It’s going to be a good discussion tonight.