DEVOTIONAL – SEP 12
AVENGE NOT YOURSELVES –
VENGEANCE IS MINE
Leslie M. John
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”. Romans 12:19
And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and smite the city with the edge of the sword. (2 Samuel 15:14)
Absalom rebelled against David and pursued to kill him and take his seat as King. David sought help from God instead of pursuing Absalom. David was a man of wars and had won many wars with the help of God, but this time when his son pursued him he fled from him. David was a shepherd boy before he became king and he was a good shepherd. When David was pleading his case with Saul he spoke of his courageous acts in killing a lion and a bear. He had faith that the Lord who delivered him from the paw of the lion would deliver him from Philistine giant, Goliath as well. Indeed David was triumphant in the battle (1 Samuel 17:33-37). But here, we see David fleeing from Absalom.
In Psalms Chapter 3 we see David recollecting increase in number of those that troubled him. His enemies ridiculed him saying that there was no hope for him in God. Selah – (pause and think!).
David cried unto the Lord and the Lord heard him out of his holy hill. David slept peacefully and woke up and praised him with confidence that he will not be afraid of ten thousands of people. (Psalms 3:4-5). Indeed good sleep is a blessing from God and rising up from good sleep is equally a blessing from God.
David went on praying to God to save his life. He recollected before God that God helped him to smite his enemies upon their cheek bone and he had broken the teeth of the ungodly. He also proclaimed that salvation belongs to the Lord.
Absalom was handsome and wise enough to gather the support of people. At the time when Absalom was pursuing David he was loved by people and David was ridiculed and hated. Lord Jesus Christ was also ridiculed and hated by people and they crucified him. They said to Jesus to come down from the cross and save himself and save them as well.
“He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him” (Matthew 27:42)
Jesus could have prayed to the Father to help to get off the cross and he would have had twelve legions of angels to fight for him; but then the purpose of Jesus coming to this earth was not to fight but to pay the price for our sin. (Matthew 26:53)
Similar was the case when David was in trouble. Conspiracy increased and David got the information that the hearts of men of Israel were after Absalom (2 Samuel 15:13). Yet, David commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai that they should deal with Absalom gently. (2 Samuel 18:5)
The end for Absalom was not good. Absalom was riding a mule and his head caught hold of the oak and he was hanging between the heaven and earth. The mule went away. Later, Joab came and thrusted three darts into Absalom’s heart but he was still alive and Absalom faced death at the hands of ten young men who smote him and slew him. (2 Samuel 18:15)
David inquired Cushi whether Absalom was safe or not and when he did not receive a favorable reply David cried that it would have been better if his life was paid as ransom to save his son.
“And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and as he went, thus he said, O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!” (2 Samuel 18:33)
In comparison, our Lord Jesus Christ loved us and paid price for our salvation that whoever believes in him shall not perish but will have everlasting life.
“And the people said unto Joshua, Nay; but we will serve the LORD”. (Joshua 24:21)