Let It Go

“If we do an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth, we will be a blind and toothless nation.” - Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Have you ever been hurt? Really hurt. The kind of hurt that knocks the breath right out of you and brings you to your knees. It’s not a physical pain, although it may feel like it at the time; it’s an emotional pain that robs you of sleep and threatens to drag you into a suffocating darkness. It’s often met with a desire for revenge, vow to never trust again, a thirst for retribution. It’s hard to forget.

Saul hurt David in this very same way. David was a friend of the family. He and Saul’s son, Jonathan, had become like brothers, but Saul had become jealous of David’s success. Envy ate away at Saul until he finally formed a plan to be rid of David.

Read: 1 Samuel 18:17-27 NLT

In this passage, we learn that Saul betrayed David by promising his daughter’s hand in marriage to David if he would slay 100 Philistines. Saul thought for sure David would be killed. When his plan failed, he told Jonathan and his servants to finish the job, but Jonathan instead ran to warn David that he was a hunted man.

Read: 1 Samuel 19:1-17 NLT

How would you have felt if you were David? He was betrayed and hunted by someone he trusted. Even worse, Saul became family when David married his daughter, Micah. The level of betrayal David experienced is unimaginable, one that’s hard to get over any time soon.

Journal: Share a time that you were deeply hurt or betrayed by someone close to you. What feelings did you experience as a result? (hurt, sadness, anger, etc)

Read: 1 Samuel 24

At last David had his chance for revenge. Saul’s life was quite literally in David’s hands. All he had to do was take it, but God had told him not to harm Saul. Can you imagine how hard that must have been? Even David’s own men were encouraging him to kill Saul, justifying the act by the horrible things Saul had done. But David chose to be obedient to God instead, and God blessed him for it.

We may think “an eye for an eye” will make us feel better. It’s the closure we think we deserve and need, but it doesn't give us the peace we seek. God promises to take care of our enemies; and sometimes He even restores the relationship. Either way, God is good, and His way is always best. Trust Him and see.

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge;  I will pay them back,” says the Lord. - Romans 12:19 NLT

Prayer: God, I’ve been hurt and betrayed by those I’ve trusted. It’s so hard to get past the pain I feel. My flesh wants to hurt them the same way they hurt me. I’ve acknowledged those feelings; now help me to lay them aside. Soften my heart toward them and help me find a way to forgive them for what they’ve done. I place them in Your hands, Lord. - Amen
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