God’s Mercy at Work

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May the Lord judge between you and me. 1 Samuel 24:12

1 Samuel 24:1–10

Insight

Twice David spared King Saul’s life—first as recorded in 1 Samuel 24:1–10 and again as described in 1 Samuel 26. The setting in 1 Samuel 24 is a large cave in the wilderness of En Gedi. This cave is one among many in the region, some large enough to hold thousands. Saul and his soldiers were pursuing David with the intent of killing him when Saul stopped to relieve himself in the very cave where David and his six hundred men were hiding. In chapter 26, Saul continues to pursue David. Once again, David is close enough to kill Saul but shows him the mercy that Saul lacks.

My anger percolated when a woman mistreated me, blamed me, and gossiped about me. I wanted everyone to know what she’d done—wanted her to suffer as I’d suffered because of her behavior. I steamed with resentment until a headache pierced my temples. But as I began praying for my pain to go away, the Holy Spirit convicted me. How could I plot revenge while begging God for relief? If I believed He would care for me, why wouldn’t I trust Him to handle this situation? Knowing that people who are hurting often hurt other people, I asked God to help me forgive the woman and work toward reconciliation.

The psalmist David understood the difficulty of trusting God while enduring unfair treatment. Though David did his best to be a loving servant, King Saul succumbed to jealousy and wanted to murder him (1 Samuel 24:1–2). David suffered while God worked things out and prepared him to take the throne, but still he chose to honor God instead of seeking revenge (vv. 3–7). He did his part to reconcile with Saul and left the results in God’s hands (vv. 8–22).

When it seems others are getting away with wrongdoing, we struggle with the injustice. But with God’s mercy at work in our hearts and the hearts of others, we can forgive as He’s forgiven us and receive the blessings He’s prepared for us.

Reflect & Pray

How can trusting that God is perfect, loving, good, and in control help you when sin seems to be prevailing? Who do you need to forgive and place in God’s mighty and merciful hands?

Merciful God, please help me trust You to determine how justice prevails.

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