Vengeance: He’s got this!!
Our devotion is on David and Saul, and today we come to the 26th Chapter where David spares the lives of Saul and his men. When we last left David and Saul in chapter 24, David had spared Saul’s life, and in return Saul had promised not to pursue David any longer. Unfortunately, it was only a momentary repentance on Saul’s part, because when we come to chapter 26, Saul is back to hunting David again.
Watch out for invitations to do things wrong
Saul had promised to leave David alone, but then the Ziphites come to him again with information about David’s whereabouts. This offer is the ‘best chance’, and so Saul is back to his old tricks and off pursing David in the wilderness again. On the other side, David learns that Saul is back too. He scouts out the area and secretly approaches Saul’s camp. He sees where King Saul and Abner, the commander of the army, are sleeping in the middle of the camp. Abishai is David’s nephew (1 Chronicles 2:16), goes with David. David and Abishai sneak through the sleeping soldiers and come to Saul who is lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. And so, David has yet another opportunity to kill his enemy, Saul, who lies defenseless before him. It would have been so easy to kill Saul here. But David refuses the offer.
Part of trusting God to make things right is to watch out for these invitations and offers that are tempting. You can’t trust God to make things right if you insist on doing things wrong!
Leave room for God to repay
Abishai was making it easy for David. He said, “God has delivered your enemy into your hand this day”. As with the last time David could have killed Saul (1 Samuel 24:4), Abishai pointed out that this circumstance was not an accident but designed by God – and the design was for David to take righteous vengeance upon Saul, “Please let me strike at once with the spear, stuck in the ground by Saul’s head”. It all might have seemed to be perfectly given from the hand of God. But David would not stretch out his hand against the LORD’s anointed. David says,“The LORD shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle and perish” David knew that it wasn’t “hard” for God to take revenge on Saul anytime. The LORD was more than able. When it came to striking down an anointed king of Israel, God did not need the services of a godly, righteous man like David.
Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, "I will avenge this evil!" Wait on the LORD, and He will deliver you. If vengeance belongs to God, it does not belong to us, so we are to love those who have harmed us or have been difficult and never repay with maliciousness. Allow God to repay.
Trust God to protect you
Without killing Saul, David takes Saul’s spear and water jug, and leave the camp together with Abishai. They make it in and out of the camp without waking anyone up, God had put Saul and the soldiers into a deep sleep so that no one wakes up (vs12).
Once they are safely out of the camp, David calls out to the army and especially to Abner, the commander of the army. He rebukes Abner for not watching out for the king and directs his attention to the missing spear and water jug that had been near Saul’s head. The point here is to trust God, not people. Our protection comes from God. Think about it. David and Abishai were alone in the midst of three thousand enemy soldiers, but they were perfectly safe because God was protecting them. On the other hand, Saul was supposed to be protected by Abner and three thousand soldiers, and he was completely defenseless. Saul trusted his soldiers but David’s trust was on God.
Psalm 146 says: “Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save. When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.” (Psalm 146:3-4) People will let you down, but God will never forsake you. Trust in God, not people.
Heavenly Father, sometimes we are craving revenge, and relishing the thought of harming someone with words and deeds. Forgive us for those weak moments and let us never to give the devil a foothold. Help us to trust you to protect us from all harm and let no weapon formed against us prosper. Grant us grace and wisdom for this day and always. Amen