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Session 35

When revenge kills

Read: 1 Samuel 25:23-44, Romans 12:19, Deuteronomy 32:35

Have you ever been mistreated so badly you actually plotted revenge? In 1 Samuel 25, David found himself in this position.

Nabal threw insults at David when David sent his servants to ask Nabal for whatever he could find to give David since David had protected Nabal’s shepherds. Enraged, David gathered 400 armed men to kill Nabal and everyone under his authority.

Aren’t we a lot like David? Our natural instinct is to take matters into our own hands when we feel we have been wronged instead of taking the matter to God.

Little did David know, Nabal’s wife, Abigail, was aware of David’s plot. Behind the scenes Abigail had already prepared all the provisions they could spare and set out to meet David as he was in en route to attack. Upon their unexpected meeting, David graciously said to Abigail: “May you be blessed for your judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands” (1 Samuel 25:33).

A short time later, the Lord struck Nabal, and he died. David thanked God for bringing him justice and keeping him from sin. And, David married Abigail!

If David had followed through with his plan to get revenge, not only would he have had to live with the remorse of his sinful actions, but he would have never married Abigail.

When we seek to hurt others in an effort to get revenge, the only one we actually hurt is ourselves.

God is always at work fighting on our behalf. Just as Abigail was working behind the scenes, God does the same in our lives. When we take matters into our own hands we ultimately give up blessings we aren’t even aware God has for us. We’re trading what will be good long term for satisfaction short term.

Instead of seeking revenge, let’s fight to forgive and trust that God, in His timing, will set things right.

Reflect:

  • Is there someone you need to forgive instead of plotting revenge against?
  • Is there someone you have wronged and need to humbly ask for forgiveness?
  • What is one step you can take today to offer or ask for that forgiveness?

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