2 Samuel 2:26 Must You Continue To Fight?

Abner called out to Joab, “Must the sword devour forever? Don’t you realize that this will end in bitterness? How long before you order your men to stop pursuing their fellow Israelites?” 2 Samuel 2:26

Fights among some family members have often gone on for several decades over some issue when they were young. People hold on to a past hurt and continue to strive to harm the other person in any way possible refusing to let go of the hurt. This occurs in and outside of families. Both sides of the issue refusing to stop the fighting.

Joab and his army were pursuing Abner and his army to kill them. Abner asks if the sword must continue to devour and that it will only end in bitterness. Then he asks for the end to the fighting.

In the same way that the world pursues harming others, many in the church fall into the same pit. Some will continue to pursue another to bring them down and conquer at any cost. There is no stopping in the chase.

After some time, some will succeed in getting their revenge and then all they feel is bitterness and resentment. Pain and death are all that is left, rather than healing and life. Not always is it physical death, but death of relationships and community.

Believers need to be willing to call off the fight, to stop pursuing revenge. Just as Christ forgave all sins, believers need to be willing to forgive and let the past wrongs go. They are called to be ministers of reconciliation, rather than ministers of destruction, division and death as the world does.

Satan seeks to devour, kill and destroy all relationships in any way possible. Christ wants to redeem and restore life and end the sword from devouring forever.

Have you been hurt in the past and are seeking to harm the one who harmed you? This can be with another family member or anyone else.

Instead of seeking to use the sword against that person, choose to forgive and reconcile the relationship. All that revenge will do is bring about bitterness and death in the end. There will be no true satisfaction or life experienced.

Allow God to change your heart as you remember and understand what Jesus did for you in forgiving your sins against Him. Stop the pursuit of death and destruction.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will allow God to guide you in restoring broken relationships; that you will seek to forgive others as Jesus forgave you; and that you will follow the ministry of reconciliation that God is calling you to do.

1 Samuel 24:12 Allow God To Get Vengeance

May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 1 Samuel 24:12

Desiring to get vengeance is one thing that many people think about against those who have harmed them. While most do not seek to physically kill a person, most want to cause some social or emotionally harm to others that have caused pain or suffering. This can be done directly or indirectly.

They want to get vengeance for what was done wrong to them.

David had a chance to kill Saul but did not. He said he asks God to get vengeance for the wrongs Saul had done, but he would not touch Saul at all.

The world is quick to seek a violent vengeance against all who do wrong. Whatever harm was done will be done hundredfold back. It is seen as a perfect right of a person to do so.

Although not as violently, believers will often get caught up in the same mentality in seeking vengeance. Their vengeance is often more subtle, but just as harmful. This can occur inside and outside of the church walls.

Instead of seeking vengeance, believers are to forgive and allow God to bring about His vengeance in His way and in His timing.

No matter how harmful a person can be in his vengeance, the vengeance of God can be greater and reach deeper into the heart and life of a person. Prior to seeking vengeance, God seeks reconciliation and forgiveness. He wants to bring about change and give life, not death.

This can only occur with forgiveness, grace and mercy. In the same way God shows forgiveness, grace and mercy to the believer, the believer must show it to those who cause harm and allow God to seek any needed vengeance.

Very likely you have had someone do something harmful to you at some point in your life. This may be occurring right now. Instead of seeking vengeance offer forgiveness, grace and mercy. Let God seek how to avenge you on the other person.

Do not lift your hand against the other person to destroy him but lift the person up before God. Allow God to deal with that person in His way and in His time. Acting in this way is doing the same thing Jesus did as He went to the cross.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will trust God to avenge any wrongs done to you; that you will know and understand God’s forgiveness, grace and mercy towards your enemies; and that God will strengthen you to do what is right in His eyes.

Leviticus 19:18 No Revenge Or Grudges

Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against anyone among your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18

Whenever there is a crime of violence it is very common to be one of revenge or a grudge against someone else. People get hurt by someone and they want to get back at them or at least hold it against them.

Family members and friends have been known to refuse to talk to each other for many years because of some grudge against each other. Hatred runs high among many people around the world.

God told the Israelites to not seek revenge or hold a grudge against another person, but to love everyone as they love themselves.

While it is expected for the world, which does not believe in God, to seek revenge or hold a grudge, many believers are also known to do the same.

It is commonly heard of a person being hurt by another person in a church and the person leaves the church with a grudge against it. Others won’t leave but will speak badly about the other person trying to get some revenge for the wrong done.

Any believer who acts like this has forgotten what Jesus has done for him. Every person has sinned against God and deserves only the worst possible punishment from Him.

Instead of punishing, God sent Jesus to die on the cross in the worst way possible for every sin committed. Jesus, instead of seeking revenge or holding a grudge, He stands ready to forgive and forget with love. In the same way that

Just as Jesus is ready to forgive and move forward, every believer should be willing to forgive, love and move forward when someone hurts them. This is where the true love of God shows up in the life of the believer and not the ways of the world, seeking revenge and harboring a grudge.

Someone has probably done something wrong to you in your past. You have a choice to make when hurt by someone. You can either seek revenge and hold a grudge against that person or you can choose to forgive and love that person.

Revenge and a grudge do nothing but harm you and the other person. Do not allow your hurt and anger to control you, but allow God’s Holy Spirit and love to envelope you and give you strength to love and forgive as Jesus did.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know God’s love and forgiveness for you; that you will love and forgive others as Jesus has done for you; and that God will strengthen you to get rid of any grudge you have against anyone else.

Genesis 50:19 Don’t Take God’s Place

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God?” Genesis 50:19

People who are in very high positions of authority will often feel they have more power and control than they really have. God is ignored and the leading is completely from the human point of view.

Everything is done in ways that benefits the individual in the immediate here and now, not from an eternal viewpoint. Some will go to the point of claiming that they are God and in complete control. Others will act the same way without the claim of being God.

After Abraham had died, Joseph’s brothers were worried that Joseph would get revenge on them. Joseph told them that he is not in the place of God to do that.

Every person will have times that they will be betrayed and harmed by someone else. It is difficult enough when it is by someone who is not family, but it is even more difficult when it is family who has done the betrayal. Many families are divided and separated due to betrayal and vengeance.

The true believer will not look at only the immediate circumstance, but at what God is doing in the bigger eternal picture. Having this view will give the believer the perspective of what God is doing and why difficulties are allowed to occur in his life.

Looking back on his life, Joseph realized that God used his brother’s betrayal to save them in the end and chose not to get revenge.

As a believer steps back and sees what God has done and is doing, he will be able to accept what has occurred and use it for God’s glory. He will not place himself in God’s position of authority and judge, but trust God’s work and be led by God for each step of his life.

You have probably been betrayed by a family member or a close friend. It was something that was painful and difficult to get through.

Rather than seeking revenge, bring it to God. Allow God to open your eyes to what He is doing in and through that situation in your life. Keep in mind all the times you have betrayed Jesus and yet He still loves and cares for you and is willing to forgive you and move on.

Allow God to be God and you to be His servant.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will know God’s work in your life; that you will see how God is using situations in your life to build you and His kingdom; and that you will allow God to judge and deal with those who betrayed you.

1 Samuel 26:23 Turning Down Revenge

Calm lake in a valley

The LORD rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The LORD delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the LORD’s anointed. 1 Samuel 26:23 

Revenge is what a lot of people want and will take if given the opportunity. They will strive to get back at a person who has done wrong to them. Often people think it is their right to be able to strike back at the enemy or any person who has done some wrong to them.

This revenge is often covered up by calling it justice or giving the person what he deserves.

David was being chased by King Saul to be destroyed, even though David had never did anything against the king. At one point, David and his men come upon Saul during the night, while he was sleeping, and had the opportunity to kill Saul. According to the normal customs at the time, he had that right. Yet, David does not want to even touch Saul. He chooses to turn down the opportunity for revenge and trusts God for His deliverance.

It is easy to think that God had given David the opportunity to kill Saul, yet, David would not. He was looking at something greater, God’s love for all people. David would let God deal with His enemies in His way and in His time.

Every believer will have days where the opportunity to strike back physically against his enemy will arise. He will have to make a choice as to what he will do at that time.

Following the ways of the world and striking the enemy is easy. Yet, God’s ways are to show mercy, grace, and love–refusing to strike or get revenge. Jesus later stated that the believer is to turn the cheek and forgive many times.

As a believer, there was a time when you had been an enemy of God. He could have chosen to strike and kill you many times. Yet, God did not, but chose to show you love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness.

In the same way God has shown you mercy and grace, you must also show that same mercy and grace towards those who are your enemy. Allow God to be the one who will strike your enemies in His time and way.

Chose to turn down the opportunity for revenge and allow God to work through you to show His love and mercy. It can change the hearts of people.

I pray today that you will know God’s love and mercy in your life; that you will show His love and mercy to your enemies; and that you will trust God to deliver you from your enemies in His way and time.