Have you ever forgiven someone just because you could? Have you ever willingly said “I know I am in the right here and I did nothing wrong in this situation. However I am going to humble myself and apologize.”?
During Life Groups this morning, we covered the life of David. Yes, in under forty minutes Travis covered the entire life of the man after God’s own heart. One particular piece of David’s story had me desiring to dig deeper, to truly be in that moment with God, David, and Saul.
The scene is when Saul is pursuing David through the strongholds of En Gedi. King Saul goes into the cave to “relieve himself.” David’s men remind him of the Lord’s promise of “Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.” (1 Samuel 24:4) In that moment, David reaches out and cuts the garment of King Saul. At first read, I responded with a “huh?” I questioned why David did not take King Saul’s life in the moment. His men thought that, encouraging him from what God had promised him, reminding him of what they believed to be a free pass from God.
I honed in on this part…David’s men thought God was bringing the moment they had all desired. For David, the leader God had anointed, to take the throne from King Saul. After all, the Lord had even told David He would deliver him into his hand for David to do as he wished. How many times have you prayed for a similar instance? Someone who has attacked you, pursued you for the wrong reasons, and you have been running…only to have them rightfully delivered into your hand. I know I have. Praying for God to bring about justice, my sort of justice…where they do not get off without repercussions, where they are judged and sentenced rightfully.
That’s not God’s justice. If it was, we would all be sentenced to hell. God told David He would deliver his enemy into his hand to do what he felt was good. A man of God had faith in a Just God who had led him this far, keeping him safe, providing a way of escape. In that moment David tore King Saul’s robe, an act of disrespect on the part of any servant. He immediately regretted even that action and cried out. He prostrated himself before King Saul seeking amends. To have a relationship, a right relationship with Saul. I love verse 12: “Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you.” David, in that moment of complete honesty before Saul, dedicated their relationship, whatever it may be, to the Lord. Only God would settle the matter and bring about His perfect justice, not a man-driven one. How often have you dedicated a relationship to God in the midst of it’s struggles and tension? I know I haven’t. I have prayed for a vengeful God to step in and smite them. I have prayed for a breaking of the bonds of caring. I have prayed for everything but dedicating the relationship to the Lord.
The thought of dedicating every single relationship I have to the Lord really struck me. I do everything else in relationships, whether they are friendships, work relationships, or dating relationships….I do the worrying, the pleasing, the encouraging, but I do not dedicate them to the Lord. That revelation bothers me in some respects, as I should be purposeful in relationships of putting the Lord as the center in each one. As a believer, I should seek ways in which to grow and learn from every individual while also pouring the gifts God has blessed me with into their lives as well. May my relationships all be dedicated to the Lord who enacts His perfect sovereignty and justice in all things.