Have you ever felt that someone was out to get you? Maybe you had a boss or co-worker that had it in for you. Maybe you felt a family member was not on your side. Maybe you were betrayed by a friend. Whoever it was, that person presented themselves as an enemy and obviously did not have your best interest at heart.
In I Samuel 24, David felt the same way you felt or may be feeling right now. King Saul was out to get him. He wanted him dead because he was jealous of David’s success and favor with the people. When David returned from a successful military campaign, the people sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands” (I Samuel 21:12). For that reason, Saul wanted to kill David.
In this account of David’s dealings with his adversary, while King Saul was out looking for the future king, he went into a cave to relieve himself. Unbeknownst to the Saul, David and his military men just happen to be in that cave. David had a choice to kill Saul and end the upheaval the king had caused in his life, or obey God and let him live. Likewise, we always have the choice to retaliate or obey God when it comes to our enemies. Therefore, in part one of this two part series, let’s take a look at some lessons we find in this passage about how to deal with the enemies we encounter in our own lives:
- Make sure you surround yourself with people who will give you godly counsel that lines up with the Word. David’s men encouraged him to kill Saul when he had the opportunity (I Samuel 24:4). However, David asserted that Saul was anointed to be king, and he refuse to touch him (v. 6). You need people who will give you God’s point of view when it comes to how to deal with the enemies in your life, or you may end up being out of God’s will.
- Have a tender heart toward God. David would not follow the counsel of his men because his heart was tender toward God. He did however, cut off a piece of Saul’s robe, his conscience was stricken, and he refused to touch Saul (vv. 5-6). Thus, he was able to listen to God and refrain from taking vengeance on Saul himself.
- If the person who is treating you wrong happens to be in authority over you, recognize and acknowledge that God has anointed the individual to be in that position. David continuously said He would not touch the person God had anointed to be king. He recognized that God had put Saul in that position. Likewise, if your enemy is a person in authority, you must seek God and ask him to intervene and refuse to take matters in your own hands.
- Make up in your mind that you will not strike back. As David did, you must make up in your mind what you will do before you get in a situation of this nature. You must refuse to retaliate and vindicate yourself. Romans 12:19 says, “Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord.”
- Stay humble and expect God to vindicate you. After Saul left the cave, David called out to him, came out of the cave, and laid prostrate on the ground before the king (v. 8). That was a sign of humility. That simple act reminds us of our need to stay humble and submissive to authority that God has put over us.
God Himself eventually dealt with Saul and took him off the throne. David had no part in that effort. By choosing to follow the command of the Lord about how to deal with his adversary, David put himself in position to move into his destiny. Thus, if you want to be successful, you must deal with your enemies God’s way. In my next post, I will share more lessons we can learn from David about how to successfully deal with those whom Satan uses to come against us.
Share a time when you handled your enemy according to the principles in God’s Word. What was the outcome? Leave a comment below.
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