A Call to Radical Kindness - Do Not Take Revenge - Tuesday, February 21st

A Call to Radical Kindness - Do Not Take Revenge - Tuesday, February 21st

So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe. But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. “The Lord knows I shouldn’t have done that to my lord the king,” he said to his men. “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king and attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” 1 Samuel 24:4b-6

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. Instead, if your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads. Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good. Romans 12:19-21

Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God …. The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. Romans 13:1, 4

Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; set me securely on high away from those who rise up against me. Deliver me from those who do iniquity and save me from men of bloodshed. For behold, they have set an ambush for my life; fierce men launch an attack against me, not for my transgression nor for my sin, O Lord, for no guilt of mine, they run and set themselves against me. Arouse Yourself to help me, and see! Psalm 59:1-4

Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the Lord, and He will save you …. Do not say, “Thus I shall do to him as he has done to meI will render to the man according to his work.” Proverbs 20:22; 24:29

Today's thoughts from today's verses:

“An eye for an eye, and tooth for a tooth” approach for responding to those who do evil was very much in operation in David’s day. However, in his encounter with Saul in the passage above, David, ahead of his time, essentially pulls a reversal and operates in the way Jesus many years later called for when He said, “do not resist (fight against) an evil person.” Later in the account, David says, “there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. May the Lord judge between you and me, and the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you.” Clearly, David got it – this alternate approach was totally in play in his dealing with Saul who was truly terrorizing him up to this point (Check out the full story in 1 Samuel 15-24). David models for us how to overcome the desire for vengeance and how to leave carrying out justice for evildoers in God’s hands and those governing authorities that He has put in place. David truly played his “Reverse” card.

Our job is to seek the Lord with our entire being for deliverance from evil, both in terms of evil that might be done to us and from evil we might desire for or even carry out against one who has done evil to us or those who matter most to us. What do we feel and desire for the evil doers who are at work in our world today? God will meet us at the point of our seeking Him for what He wants for us. He will take care of things out there and He will take care of us and our fragile, vulnerable hearts. Remember, that in our praying to God we must be willing to play our “Reverse” card and let His powerful touch transform our approach to those who do evil.

Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:

Lord, I do pray that you will help me to play my “Reverse” card whenever it is needed. Help me to recognize the ways I am still living in the “old” manner by being vengeful. I want to follow in your steps, Lord. I truly want to be a godly person at every turn through the power of your indwelling presence. Deliver me from evil, for yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever. Amen!

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