April 1, 2024

The Lord is the Avenger of all Who Suffer for Righteousenss Sake.


DAILY READING : 1 SAMUEL 18 - 20; 1 SAMUEL 21 - 24
TEXT : 1Sa 19:1  And Saul spake to Jonathan his son, and to all his servants, that they should kill David. 1Sa 19:2  But Jonathan Saul's son delighted much in David: and Jonathan told David, saying, Saul my father seeketh to kill thee: now therefore, I pray thee, take heed to thyself until the morning, and abide in a secret place, and hide thyself: 1Sa 19:3  And I will go out and stand beside my father in the field where thou art, and I will commune with my father of thee; and what I see, that I will tell thee. 1Sa 19:4  And Jonathan spake good of David unto Saul his father, and said unto him, Let not the king sin against his servant, against David; because he hath not sinned against thee, and because his works have been to thee-ward very good: 1Sa 19:5  For he did put his life in his hand, and slew the Philistine, and the LORD wrought a great salvation for all Israel: thou sawest it, and didst rejoice: wherefore then wilt thou sin against innocent blood, to slay David without a cause?
Chapters 18 - 24 are primarily accounts of the attempt of Saul to kill David. The evil spirit drives him to the brink of insanity, and this is best displayed in Saul's unfounded hatred of David.  Often men of little character, find their perverted pleasure in life by persecuting those who are better than they are. This is the case with Saul. David is by far, a better man, though he himself is not without his faults, as we shall see later. Still, God is a judge of the heart as we read in His selection of David through Samuel. Moreover, God calls David - "a man after my own heart," though, unlike God, David is a sinner. Saul on the other hand, is fearful of men and their opinions. This is why he fails so miserably in his rule as king. Instead of living to please God in the fear of the Lord, he survives daily by satisfying man's whimsical, capricious wants and desires. Saul pleases men. David pleases God. Which one of these two options people choose makes all the difference in the world.
Nevertheless, God provides David with Jonathan, Saul's son who loves David as his own soul. Jonathan will be a tremendous source of comfort and aid to David in escaping the pursuit of Saul. One would think that David's [obvious] ascent to the throne [that Saul knows will happen] would cause Jonathan to have concern and jealousy. Yet, Jonathan, like David, has a pure heart before God. He is a true patriot who puts his country and his allegiance to God before personal ambition. Saul does not. He is a fearful and spiteful man who is finally taken in by his own sense of insecurity and inadequacies. Mathew Henry explains in detail.
"Never was enemy so unreasonably cruel as Saul. He spoke to his son and all his servants that they should kill David, 1Sa_19:1. His projects to take him off had failed, and therefore he proclaims him an out-law, and charges all about him, upon their allegiance, to take the first opportunity to kill David. It is strange that he was not ashamed thus to avow his malice when he could give no reason for it, and that knowing all his servants loved David (for so he had said himself, 1Sa_18:22), he was not afraid of provoking them to rebel by this bloody order. Either malice was not then so politic, or justice was not so corrupted as it has been since, or else Saul would have had him indicted, and have suborned witnesses to swear treason against him, and so have had him taken off, as Naboth was, by colour of law. But there is least danger from this undisguised malice. It was strange that he who knew how well Jonathan loved him should expect him to kill him; but he thought that because he was heir to the crown he must needs be as envious at David as himself was. And Providence ordered it thus that he might befriend David's safety.
Never was friend so surprisingly kind as Jonathan. A friend in need is a friend indeed. Such a one Jonathan was to David. He not only continued to delight much in him, though David's glory eclipsed his, but bravely appeared for him now that the stream ran so strongly against him. He took care for his present security by letting him know his danger (1Sa_19:2): "Take heed to thyself, and keep out of harm's way." Jonathan knew not but that some of the servants might be either so obsequious to Saul or so envious at David as to put the orders in execution which Saul had given, if they could light on David.
He took pains to pacify his father and reconcile him to David. The next morning he ventured to commune with him concerning David (1Sa_19:3), not that night, perhaps because he observed Saul to be drunk and not fit to be spoken to, or because he hoped that, when he had slept upon it, he would himself revoke the order, or because he could not have an opportunity of speaking to him till morning.
His intercession for David was very prudent. It was managed with a great deal of the meekness of wisdom; and he showed himself faithful to his friends by speaking good of him, though he was in danger of incurring his father's displeasure by it - a rare instance of valuable friendship! He pleads, The good services David had done to the public, and particularly to Saul: His work has been to thee-ward very good, 1Sa_19:4. Witness the relief he had given him against his distemper with his harp, and his bold encounter with Goliath, that memorable action, which did, in effect, save Saul's life and kingdom. He appeals to himself concerning his: Thou thyself sawest it, and didst rejoice. In that and other instances it appeared that David was a favourite of heaven and a friend to Israel, as well as a good servant to Saul, for by him the Lord wrought a great salvation for all Israel; so that to order him to be slain was not only base ingratitude to so good a servant, but a great affront to God and a great injury to the public. He pleads his innocency. Though he had formerly done many good offices, yet, if he had now been chargeable with any crimes, it would have been another matter; but he has not sinned against thee (1Sa_19:1), his blood is innocent (1Sa_19:5), and, if he be slain, it is without cause. And Jonathan had therefore reason to protest against it because he could not entail any thing upon his family more pernicious than the guilt of innocent blood.
His intercession, being thus prudent, was prevalent. God inclined the heart of Saul to hearken to the voice of Jonathan. Note, We must be willing to hear reason, and to take all reproofs and good advice even from our inferiors, parents from their own children. How forcible are right words! Saul was, for the present, so far convinced of the unreasonableness of his enmity to David that, [1.] He recalled the bloody warrant for his execution (1Sa_19:6): As the Lord liveth, he shall not be slain. Whether Saul swore here with due solemnity or no does not appear; perhaps he did, and the matter was of such moment as to deserve it and of such uncertainty as to need it. But at other times Saul swore rashly and profanely, which made the sincerity of this oath justly questionable; for it may be feared that those who can so far jest with an oath as to make a by-word of it, and prostitute it to a trifle, have not such a due sense of the obligation of it but that, to serve a turn, they will prostitute it to a lie. Some suspect that Saul said and swore this with a malicious design to bring David within his reach again, intending to take the first opportunity to slay him. But, as bad as Saul was, we can scarcely think so ill of him; and therefore we suppose that he spoke as he thought for the present, but the convictions soon wore off and his corruptions prevailed and triumphed over them. [2.] He renewed the grant of his place at court. Jonathan brought him to Saul, and he was in his presence as in times past (1Sa_19:7), hoping that now the storm was over, and that his friend Jonathan would be instrumental to keep his father always in this good mind."
David has as opportunity to kill Saul, but refrains from performing the deed as we see here.
1Sa 24:1  And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. 1Sa 24:2  Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. 1Sa 24:3  And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. 1Sa 24:4  And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. 1Sa 24:5  And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt.
Even the cutting of Saul's skirt gives David a mild pang of conscience. There is vast difference in the character of godly men and the ungodly. Still, by not killing Saul, David teaches us a powerful lesson. We learn this in his words to Saul. He shouts to Saul what he could have done, what he refrained from doing, and what God will do.
1Sa 24:10  Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD'S anointed. 1Sa 24:11  Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. 1Sa 2 4:12  The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. 1Sa 24:13  As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
Manipulative preachers often quote verse 10 as a defense of their ungodliness. They deceive people into thinking they can do what they want, and no one can touch them, because they are "anointed." However, the context of these verses is quite the opposite. In essence, David says - "I will not touch you, but God will." His reference to wickedness is clear - it comes from wicked people. That is the channel of wickedness - people, though the source is Satan and sin.
Many of God's people have suffered more at the hands of those who hold an office in the Church, than those without Christ in the world. Because of the Word of God and its emphasis on authority, wicked rulers in the House of God find a "loophole" in the Law of God to work their evil deeds.  Yet, there is the lesson of David. He states he will not revenge, but God will. This is the invariable result of sowing. What we sow we reap. No one escapes eating the fruit of their own deeds. Saul certainly did not. Though David did not take his revenge by killing Saul, God eventually did. Critically wounded in battle, Saul falls on his own sword and ends his life.
And the battle went sore against Saul, and the archers hit him; and he was sore wounded of the archers. Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore, Saul took a sword, and fell upon it. [1 Samuel 31:3 - 4]
David however, would fight many battles and die in the comfort of his own bed. God is able to put a difference between the godly and the ungodly. God is the avenger. He is not mocked. Whatever a man sows he reaps.
< span style='font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:"Cambria","serif"'>"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." [Gal 6:7 - 8]
Since God controls the outcome of all who live ungodly as well as godly, we have more motivation to live in the fear of the Lord. Unlike Saul, we should be careful how we treat others in the Kingdom of God. Saul thought only of himself and his own reputation and position. David thought of the Lord. We should do the same.
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; 1Th 4:5  Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any ma tter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. [1 Th 4:3 - 7]
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