How Not To Hurt The People Who Hurt You!
1 Samuel 24:1-11
How do you handle life when the opportunity arises for you to hurt someone who has been hurting you? When the chance comes to get somebody back who has lied on you, stole from you, made life miserable for you….. what do you do? When the tables have been turned and now their defenses are down and you say under your breath, “I’ve been waiting for this!” What do you do?
In 1 Samuel Chapter 24 David had an opportunity to harm Saul who made his life hell. Saul went into a jealous rage when David became a war hero and the women sung his praise. Saul purposed in his heart to kill David. David fled for his life and Saul took 3,000 men with him to find him. While searching for David, Saul entered a cave alone to “relieve himself” not knowing David and his men were in the cave
David’s men whispered to him, “This is your chance to kill Saul. God has delivered him to you.” David proceeded toward Saul with his weapon and instead of killing him he cut off a piece of his robe without Saul’s knowledge. Saul was clueless that David had been that close in range to him. After David cut Saul’s robe he immediately became convicted in his heart and said to his men, “God forbid that I would do any harm to God’s anointed. God forbid that I should even raise my finger to bring Saul harm.” David steadied his men for they were ready to kill Saul but David would not allow it to be so. Saul left the cave that day not knowing how close he was to deaths doorstep. He went on down the road and when he got far enough away David called out, “My Master!” Saul turned around and David fell on his knees in a act of respect and said, “Why do you listen to those who say I am trying to bring you harm? This day you can see with your own eyes how God had delivered you into my hands. My men wanted me to kill you but I wouldn’t because you are God’s man.” Then he held up the piece of garment that he cut from Saul’s robe and said, “Look I could have cut you but I cut your robe. Here is the evidence! I am not against you! I am not a rebel. I haven’t did anything to you yet you are hunting my soul to kill me.”
What do we learn from this lesson?
- You Don’t Have To Do Anything For People To Want To Hurt You: There are times when you become an easy target for someone elses issues with God. Saul had issues with God not David. There are some that want to cause you harm when the see God giving you the blessing they believe they deserve.
- Hurt People See Life Through The Prism of their Own Pain: Saul was king, yet he did not trust God. He perceived others were the enemy when in fact he was his own enemy. It was his distrust in God that led to his own insecurities. Saul’s hurt evolved from his faulty perception of God. His faulty perception of God led to a failing premise as a guide. What he thought was right was wrong and what he thought was wrong was right.
- Hurting People Hurt People: Because Saul was hurting it became his mission in life to hurt David. His reflexive behavior to resolve his own issues was to inflict hurt on those whom he perceived was the source of his pain. Saul had a knee-jerk reaction to his perception of hurt. “You hurt me! I will hurt you! When bitterness, resentment, and anger surfaces it can bring about unhealthy behavior towards people that are close in relationship.
David had Saul’s life in his hands. He could have killed him and been done with it! David’s character meant believing and trusting in what God had ordained in his life without compromising the position of Saul’s life. David’s colleagues tried to take David out of character by urging him to kill Saul but David trusted God and was not influenced.
Life is too short to go around trying to tear others down. When you have endured pain from a person that seemingly has no regard for you, you want to get even. You want to make them feel the pain and hurt they have caused. The danger becomes lavish a life stuck in a cycle of “getting even”.
How do you trust God when people are going out of there way to hurt you?
Remember Everybody Needs Love
The racist on your job that does all they can to belittle you needs love. The person who lives to make your life a living hell needs love. The church members who’s name is mentioned whenver there is a problem or working behind the scenes to tear down ministry in the church needs love.
Start Praying For Them Daily
Luke 6:27-28 – “But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.”
Approach At The Right Time/With The Right Spirit
Proverbs 22:24-25 – “Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul.” David knew that Saul did not like him. He could have confronted Saul in the cave but that would have been controversial. Instead, David waited until Saul was at a distance where there could be no physical confrontation. Secondly, David had the right spirit. He fell down on his face as a show of respect for Saul. He did not want to appear threatening or confrontational. He had a humble spirit. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turns away wrath but grievous words stir up anger.”
Leave It In The Hands of God
David said, “I will not put forth my hand against God’s anointed.” In other words, David was saying, if I put my hands in this situation I’m sure to make things worse but if I place Saul you in the Hands of the Lord, He will plead my case. David is simply saying, “Although you hurt me, I will let God handle it!”
Dr. Oscar T. Moses