Saturday 28th March - Second time round

Read 2 Samuel 16-20

Since our daily devotionals began, this is the second time David is hiding through fear for his life. This time round the stakes seem sadder. It was not the Father of his friend hunting him down, but his son. Family can get complicated!

In one sense I feel that David was better equipped to navigate this challenge the second time around. The gained life experience would have brought a mixture of wisdom and knowledge that he didn't have before. The same could be said for his advisors. I imagine that David knew the character of God in a clearer way that contributed to shaping his thinking (2 Samuel 16:11). If an old battle resurfaces with a new face in your life how are you now better equipped to engage with it? What has God taught you over the last season in life? How have you, and your friends, grown?

What I love about David is that He is steadfast in loving his enemies. He mourned for the death of Saul and more greatly over his son (2 Samuel 19:1). I’ve never (knowingly) had someone seek to make an attempt on my life (and long may that continue!) but even if they were family I’d find it hard to feel so warm over their welfare. One of the great challenges of Christianity is that of loving not only your neighbour but also your enemy. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44 “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”. That is a verse that is easy to memorise but hard to master.

Paul picks up on this theme in Romans 12. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited. 17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e] 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Spend a few moments mulling over those words and speak to God about how you feel. If you are brave enough ask for an opportunity to grow in this area.

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