In my last post, we looked at I Samuel 24 in order to glean lessons for how to handle our enemies. Saul, the king of Israel, was intent on killing David, his successor. The king went into a cave to relieve himself without realizing that David was hiding in there with his fighting men. Contrary to the advice of his cohorts, David refused to attack and kill Saul when it would have been convenient. Instead, David chose to obey God and handle the situation differently.
Here are a few more lessons about how to handle our enemies that we can take away from the account in I Samuel 24:
- Respectfully confront the person when God gives you the opportunity. When the time was right, David said to Saul in verse 11, “I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it.“ He respectfully informed the king of his wrong behavior. Pray and ask God for the words to say if He prompts you to go to your enemy and tell him how you feel about his behavior.
- Pray to God earnestly. In verse 15, David implies that he sought God about the situation between him and Saul. He has asked the Lord for deliverance from the king’s onslaughts. We should do the same when it comes to dealing with those who intend to harm us. Be sure to pray and ask God to intervene on your behalf.
- Refuse to stoop to the level of your enemy. David told Saul in I Samuel 24:13 (NIV), “From evildoers come evil deeds.” He basically told Saul, “If I retaliate, I’ll reduce myself to your level.” He refused to do that, and I’m sure that God was pleased with His decision.
- Let God convict the person of their wrongdoing. In verses 16-17, Saul’s conscience convicts him of his sin, and he repents of his treatment of David. Thus, if you continue to treat your enemy kindly, he may eventually repent of the evil deeds he has committed against you.
- Do good to your enemy. In verse 17, Saul acknowledges his ill treatment of David. He states, “Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good whereas I have rewarded thee evil.” Likewise, we are to treat our enemies well, even when they don’t treat us well.
When it was all said and done, Saul killed himself and David took the throne. Therefore, know that when you follow these guidelines and let God fight your battles, you will obtain deliverance, vindication, and promotion. You must remember that as long as you fight your own battles, God will not fight for you. As long as you are determined to repay your enemy, God will not repay. If you will make up in your mind that from this day forward, you will follow David’s lead when it comes to dealing with your enemies, you will keep them where they belong – under your feet.
What lessons has God taught you about dealing with your enemies? Leave a comment below.
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