As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 1Samuel 24. 16
Saul was jealous of David’s rising popularity and favor with God. He pursued him to kill him. But David told Saul he would not act the same way. He would spare Saul because Saul was still God’s anointed. He was not going to go down the “eye for and eye” path. David let God speak through him, instead of his humanness. In Saul’s questioning response, “Is that your voice my son?”, that was what he was acknowledging. Saul knew David’s reaction and words were from God alone and it convicted Saul to the very core of his being.
Have you ever been the victim of malicious and untrue gossip? Has someone lashed out at you with hateful words? Most of us can say yes. It seems that no matter what we do or say, it only adds fuel to the other person’s fire of jealousy or vindictiveness. How easy it is to instead shrink away and avoid conflict, or worse, retaliate and “fight fire with fire”. But both reactions only lead us down paths of unrighteousness, don’t they?
When we cower and shrink away, it sends the message that we are not confident in ourselves, and thus not confident in God who has promised we can do all things through Christ who gives us strength (Philippians 4:13). We are weakening our witness. Cowering is not turning the other cheek, it is fading away from the next blow and admitting defeat when we are supposed to be claiming Christ as the victor of our lives.
On the other hand, those of us who are more feisty want to come out swinging and “do unto others as they just did unto us”. Not exactly the Golden Rule. It only escalates the battle and leaves both people wounded.
David demonstrated the more excellent way. He was confident that God had his back. He recognized that Saul was also a man who belonged to God, just misguided because he had not kept in right relationship with God. Joyce Meyer is famous for saying, “hurting people hurt people”. Through God’s eyes, David saw how Saul was hurting. He let the Sword of Truth wield the blow to Saul’s spirit, not the metal sword in his sheath stab into Saul’s neck or chest. By relying on God’s perspective, David responded correctly – not out of the instinctual fight or flight reaction, but out of the stand-firm-and-be-confident-in-God-to-be-in-control stance.
When the arrows are slinging in your direction, don’t duck. And, please don’t try to catch them on your own and fling them back. Call on the the blood of Christ to shield you, God’s eyes to give you vision inside that person’s motives, and Holy Spirit to guide your tongue and your timing in response.
One last thing David’s actions can teach us. He confronted Saul alone in a cave, not in front of His armies, thus saving Saul embarrassment. He treated Saul with dignity while also telling him the error of his ways. Only God could have guided that conversation!
Next time someone hurts you, will you let Him guide yours? Will you let Him be your voice? You may just win over the other person’s soul to Christ, and that is the true battle worth fighting.