Living with Mercy



Well friends, I decided to go ahead and finish up 1 Samuel, which takes you up to the death of King Saul.¬†What hit me in this reading was the fact that David¬†consistently spared Saul’s life. David claims that no one is worthy of killing God’s anointed, but it is still astonishing.

If you don’t remember, Saul made several attempts on David’s life after becoming jealous of him. It got to the point that David had to escape to the wilderness and hide. Saul then pursued and hunted David. He got called away a few times to defend Israel from opposing armies, but Saul’s focus was on finding and killing David. Two times are recorded that David could have killed Saul. The first, Saul went to a cave to relive himself, but David was in that cave. David snuck up behind him and cut a small part of his robe. After leaving the cave, David shouted out to him, “Look my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut if off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me.” (1 Samuel 24:11 NLT)

The second time, David snuck into Saul’s camp while they were sleeping. He took the spear and water jug that Saul was keeping near his head. After leaving and waking up the camp David shouts to Saul, “The Lord gives his own reward for doing good and for being loyal, and I refused to kill you even when the Lord placed you in my power, for you are the Lord’s anointed one. Now may the Lord value my life, even as I have valued yours today. May he rescue me from all my troubles.” (26:23-24 NLT)

On two occasions, David could have killed the man that was causing him so much trouble. Despite being told by his friends to kill Saul and end it, David took a higher path. He knew that God is a good judge. He even wrote it, “God is a just judge” (Psalm 7:11 NKJV). Other translations say “righteous” (NASB, NIV), “honest” (NLT), and the Message says “Nobody get by with anything, God is already in action”.

So with such a judge in place, why would we take it upon ourselves to judge and punish others. God alone has that power and authority. David shows Saul countless means of mercy, because he knew that ultimately God would punish Saul for what he had done.

As Christians we must live by David’s example (especially if we are to be men after God’s own heart). Even Jesus while on earth showed us that it is not our place to judge others, but to extend God’s mercy to them.

Today there are many people that could use that mercy. People who have been hated on by many people (some of them in God’s name). What Jesus came to show us is that we are all sinners and deserve punishment. However, Christ died our death so that we may have eternal life. With that life, it is our duty to spread His love and mercy to all. I think on this segment in becoming the Heart Man, I must be more aware of when I judge others and instead show them mercy. In time God will take care of them, it is not my place.