Vengeance is not Mine

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Why is there this deep-seated need for approval within all of us, a longing to be like, loved, or approved?

And when we ask for favors and we’re turned down, why do we feel the need for vengeance?

Too often, I validate these feelings with human praise and attention which momentarily quench my thirst, yet leave me longing for more. It’s an addiction of sorts, masking itself with noble ambition.

Moreover, when I don’t receive what it is that I long for, I seek justification; I love to avenge myself.

In this mindset, there’s a constant battle, a battle for approval.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve faced this challenge is a very real way as I’ve begun pre-selling copies of my book.

Just this week, I read this story from 1 Samuel that encouraged me:

“Then David moved down into the Desert of Maon. A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. His name was Nabal and his wife’s name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings.

While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So he sent ten young men and said to them, “Go up to Nabal, and greet him in my name. Say to him: ‘Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours! When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them. Therefore be favorable toward my men. Please give us, your servants, whatever you can find.’

Nabal answered, ‘Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Why should I take my bread and water and give it to men who come from who knows where?’

When his men returned, they reported every word. David said to his men, ‘Put on your swords!’

Knowing her husband’s wickedness, Abigail lost no time and prepared a blessing and met David and his men before they arrived. Abigail bowed before David and said:

‘Please let me speak. Pay no attention to that wicked man, Nabal, he is a fool. Now since the Lord has kept you, my master, from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, may your enemies be like Nabal. Please forgive our offense, for the Lord will make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord’s battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God. But the lives of your enemies, He will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. When the Lord has done for my master every good thing He has promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel, my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord has brought my master success, remember your servant.’

David answered:

‘Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgement and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands.’

A few verses later, we learn that Nabal’s heart becomes like stone and ten days later, he is struck dead by the Lord.

Instead of vengeance…choose grace

Instead of reaction…choose your response

Instead of bitterness…choose forgiveness

Instead of blame…choose responsibility

Remember, the battle is the Lord’s.

MH

 

 

 

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  • Great topic Matt, not sure if I have any major personal examples but I recall another one about David. When Saul was chasing after David, David came up behind him while he was uh, well taking care of some personal business David cut off part of Saul’s robe. David later cried out to God asking for forgiveness for doing such a thing to the king. Even when Saul was trying to kill David, David still recognized Saul as being appointed King by God.

    • Jon –
      Thanks for listening and taking the time to share! I love how David (like Jesus) was tested in the wilderness three times. David’s obedience and service to Saul in spite of his belief in his anointing is a huge testimony to me.

      Hope you are doing well!

  • I just got to listen to this today. Interesting that I was studying 1 Peter 3 this weekend. This really goes well with that as well. Specificially 1 Peter 3:9 “Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will grant you his blessing.” Sometimes its hard to have the control when you want to just explode. Wish I had learned this lesson many years ago, but I’m glad that I’ve learned it now. Thanks for another great message.

    • James – what a great cross reference. Learning how to respond is key. I appreciate you taking the time to share.