6. Forgiveness: Give Grace to the Grief-Givers

Scripture: 1 Samuel 24 and 26

Saul enters the cave “to relieve himself.  Now David and his men were hiding far back in the cave.  The king fails to notice the silent figures who line the walls.  One thrust of the blade will bring Saul’s tyranny and their running to an end.  But David signals for his men to hold back.  He edges along the wall and cuts not the flesh but the robe of Saul.  Saul exits the cave, and David soon follows.  He lifts the garment corner.  Saul looks up, stunned, and wonders aloud, “If a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely?’ (24:19).

Once again, Saul is hunting David.  While the camp of the king sleeps, David and a soldier got their way through the ranks until they stand directly over the snoring body of the king.  Rather than take Saul’s life, he takes Saul’s spear and water jug and sneaks out of the camp.  David spares Saul’s life and displays a God-saturated mind.  

David faced Saul the way he faced Goliath – by facing God more so.  In these two scenes, David called Saul  six times “the Lord’s anointed.” David did not applaud Saul’s behaviour; he just acknowledged Saul’s proprietor – God.   You can hate what someone did without letting hatred consume you.  Forgiveness is not excusing.  Nor is forgiveness pretending. Give grace, but, if need be, keep your distance.  “Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold” (1 Samuel 24:22),  Forgiveness is not foolishness

To forgive is to move on, not to think about the offence anymore.  You don’t excuse him, endorse her, or embrace them.  You just route thoughts about them through heaven.  You see your enemy as God’s child and revenge as God’s job.  We give grace because we have been given grace.  

Reference:  Facing your giants:  God still does the impossible by Max Lucado

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