Life-changing Mercy and Forgiveness

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All right this morning, we’ll be reading from 1 Samuel, Chapter 26, verses 2-12. So if you’d like to join me, please open your Bibles. Again, it’s 1 Samuel 26, 2-12. “So Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph with 3000 men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph and Saul encamped on the Hill of Hakilah, which is beside the road East of Jeshimon, but David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, David sent out spies and learned that Saul had indeed come.

Then David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped and David saw the place where Saul lay with Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within the encampment while the army was encamped around him.

Then David said to Ahimelek the Hittite and to Joab’s brother Abishai the son of Zeruiah, ‘Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?’ And Abishai said, ‘I will go down with you.’ So David and Abishai went to the army by night and there lay Saul, sleeping within the encampment with his spear stuck in the ground at his head and Abner and the army lay around him. Then Abishai said to David, ‘God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of this spear and I will not strike him twice.’

But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him for who can put on his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless.’ And David said, ‘As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him or his day will come to die or he will come down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed, but take now the spirit that is at his head and the jar of water and let us go.’.

So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head and they went away. No man saw it or knew it nor did any awake for they were all asleep because a deep sleep from the Lord had fallen upon them.”

Let’s take a minute and pray together, church family. Lord, we thank you for this passage. The beauty of what we see in David’s life, the model that he gives for us in this narrative of God, really just grace and forgiveness and mercy to his enemy. And Lord, we just want to pray for us as a church this morning, as we look at this passage together that we can draw from it, some things for our lives that we can live as a light in a world of darkness. A place of hope, be beacons of your grace, Lord, that we can through that, Jesus, just see people’s lives transformed in you.

And so God, I pray that you blessed our morning together and this afternoon, as we just have some time of fellowship afterwards, Lord, and may you be gracious to us as we seek to honor you in all that we do. And it’s in Christ’s name. Amen.

Hey, I just want to remind you as we get ready to dive into this text, if you do want sermon notes or communion, we’re going to have communion at the very end of service, it’s at the resource tent if you haven’t been able to receive any of that. So you can walk over there and grab that. As we get ready to look in 1 Samuel, Chapter 26, one of the things I’m just considering as we jump into this, we always want to end with some application to what this passage has to do with us, but I really just want to start there and just considering maybe just a question or a thought and that’s just to ask, what kind of church do we want to be?

And I think we certainly have a vision and trajectory, a purpose for our existence, but it’s significant for us to remain steadfast in why church exists. Why we gather as a body of believers. To keep that in front of us, and Sunday for us is not just the day we get together because it’s Sunday. It’s not something we do just because Jesus said we should do it. There is life giving power in what Christ says to us. We want that truth that he proclaims to be real in our lives and not just real in us, but real through us in demonstrating our desire to pursue Jesus.

And when I think about what God calls us to, and I consider a text like today, 1 Samuel 26, this is a very powerful text for me that when I read from 1 Samuel, 26, in scripture, all the way to the beginning of 2 Samuel, Chapter 21, if I’m just being honest, this is a section of scripture my mind goes to often and when I think about how David demonstrates his life. When I consider our church, one of my hopes is that we are a church of incredible grace, mercy and forgiveness. In fact, we’re titling today, “Life-changing Mercy and Forgiveness.”

When we come to know Jesus, the way that we come to know Jesus, is to first recognize how much we need the grace of God in our own lives. How much we need his forgiveness because of our sins. That he in fact is a holy God and one day we’re going to meet him face to face and what do you stand on? We have nothing in ourselves to impress God with, after all he created us. I mean, what am I going to offer to God that’s going to impress him that he can’t do for himself.

We need God’s mercy and grace and he has provided it to us through the cross. And not just that, an intimate relationship with him that that lasts for eternity. So our church should be a place that, as we find Jesus’s mercy and grace in our own lives and his forgiveness, that other people could find it too and what we discover in that is that it is life-changing. And when we look in this passage of scripture, we see that with David, and that is a theme of Christianity, right? I mean, when you think about mercy and forgiveness, the Bible is filled with passages on it. I’m going to end in Titus 3, that talks about that but even Micah 6:8, “He has shown you, old man,” or whatever translation you read from, “old mortal” it says in some, “He has shown you, old man, what is good, what the Lord requires of you to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.”

So you see, he talks about being a people that love mercy, or even when you think about Peter, Peter comes to Jesus in terms of forgiveness in Matthew 18. He gets this idea that Jesus is a very forgiving person and so he poses this question to Jesus, and I think it was to impress Jesus in a way, and to show how much he’s learned from his rabbi. And he says, “Jesus, if someone forgives me” in Matthew 18:21, “how many times should we… or if someone offends me, how many times should I forgive them?”

And then Peter throws out this idea, “Should it be seven times?” And I just imagine that moment in Peter’s heart. He’s thinking, “How great am I?” Because rabbinical law at that time recommended that you should forgive someone up to three times. And Peter is like, “I’m going to double it and add one, right?” So seven times, and in verse 22, Jesus says, “Not only should you forgive him seven, but actually 70 times seven.” And the point Jesus is saying is no one can keep track of how many times you forgive once you get to, what is that? 490 times?

When we talk about forgiveness, Jesus is saying, “Look, just keep forgiving. Be a people of forgiveness.” Jesus’s first message to us in the sermon on the mount in the book of Matthew, Chapter 6, in verses 14 and 15, he says this, “If you forgive one another or forgive someone who offends you, then your father in heaven forgives.” Verse 14.

Verse 15, he then goes, “But if you don’t forgive people who offend you, then your father in heaven will not forgive you.” Now that’s a pretty powerful statement as it relates to forgiveness. I mean, Jesus is really wanting us to understand the significance of what it means to forgive and be a people that forgives and when we talk about forgiveness in that way, no doubt, when you hear a verse like that, your mind starts to wrestle with it. How can I justify not forgiving? Do you know why they did? What can I say about this, Jesus?

So when you look at a passage like Matthew 6, I mean, we can probably agree on this. To say that the Bible says to forgive is one thing, but to flesh it out, to live it, that’s something different in itself, right? And we see that type of forgiveness that I think Jesus describes a Matthew 6, in the book of Samuel through the life of David. This isn’t something he just talks about or knows that God teaches. This is something that he’s demonstrating in his own life.

I remember how the story’s unfolded for us. 1 Samuel, 13, Chapter 13, 1 Samuel, Chapter 15, Saul has offended God. God said, “Don’t do this, Saul.” A couple of things he’s told Saul directly not to do, and Saul just disobeys. And finally, Chapter 16, God says, “Fine, I’m anointing David as future King.” And so when Saul finds out that David’s been anointed or when Saul sees God’s favor on David, Saul becomes jealous and he pursues David, Chapter 20, “David runs to the wilderness.”

We talked about this last week and he starts to hide from Saul because Saul is pursuing him and wanting to take his life. And David has had a couple of opportunities to respond and we know how dangerous David is. David is a professional warrior. Remember the song in 1 Samuel, 18, where it says, “Saul has killed his 1,000s, but David his 10,000s.” He’s the one that slayed Goliath and Saul pursues David and David has a few opportunities to kill Saul, and it would have been completely justified. I mean, he’s the anointed of the Lord. If someone’s trying to kill him, I can explain it all away. Makes total sense. If you just eliminate this one person, David, you can go home.

It’s certainly the easier road. People would understand but David, in obedience to the Lord, he takes the harder road. And in 1 Samuel 26, you see this. David goes to his men and he says, “Okay, who’s going to go with me in the camp of Saul? He’s here pursuing us. He wants to kill me. Who wants to sneak in with me to pay Saul a visit?”

And Abishai is like, “I will.” Right? And in this camp, the way that it’s centered, the way the passage describes for us, is they’re all camped around Saul and Saul is in the middle of the camp, sort of protecting the King here. And David and Abishai in the middle of the night, they sneak in to the tent where Saul is located. And in Verse 8, this is what it says, “Then Abishai said to David, ‘Today, God has delivered your enemy into your hands.’ See even Abishai, completely justified here. We finally made it, right? We can get rid of this and we can all go home, trouble over.

“Now, therefore, please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke and I will not strike him the second time.” Here’s what Abishai is saying. It’s like, when you’re in battle like this, you would sleep with your weapon next to you in case anything happens in the middle of night, you’re ready to go as a warrior. And this is where Saul finds himself. Next to him, he’s got a spear at night. He’s asleep. These two sneak in and they see the spear sitting right next to Saul. And Abishai is saying, “Look, I am so good at this. I only need one strike. No peep. We can get in stealthy, get out. No one will even know till the morning and we will win.”

And what does David do? David exercises incredible restraint. And rather than say, “Okay Abishai, you’re right.” David in Verse 9 says this, “But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be without guilt?’ Now I know this text just gives us the basics of this narrative that that takes place and we see this idea of forgiveness modeled in David’s life here and this idea of mercy. But I can imagine even the conversation with Abishai.

In Verse 10, it goes on further to give a little bit more of his explanation. I’ll look at it in just a minute, but he could’ve said to Abishai, “You know, I remember the glory of this King. Who he was before he’s fallen and what right do I have to remove him of that position that God has given him?”

And David, even though the easier path would be just to give Abishai the command, he chooses to prolong his struggle in order to honor the Lord. So here’s the question for us, we can pose here in the beginning. I’m going to answer three questions. Why forgive? What is forgiveness? And how do we find the strength? Why forgive? What is forgiveness? And how to find the strength?

You can imagine David in this moment, he needs a lot of God’s strength to not just give into his flesh in these moments. So why forgive? Well, David’s already given us a picture of the answer in Verse 9. He acknowledges in Verse 9, “Do not destroy him for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed?” He’s referring to Saul as the Lord’s anointed, and in Israel’s day, God would have particular people anointed in Israel to accomplish particular purposes that he called them to. Prophet, priests and kings were anointed by God directly in the days of King David.

And so what David is acknowledging here is not the behavior, but the person in this position. If we looked to people in regards to their behavior, in order to determine whether or not we forgive, there’s not a person in this world that deserves forgiveness, right? I mean if forgiveness is based on what you do and only based on what you do, nobody in here is worthy of free, except for Jesus, right? Because all of us at some point have fallen short and so what David is helping us understand here that when it comes in terms to forgiveness, forgiveness is not based on simply behavior of someone, but rather in their identity.

And so he acknowledges here for Abishai, “Look, this is the Lord’s anointed.” So what does this have to do with us? Well, scripture says to us, “Every human being is made in the image of God.” All of us have an intrinsic worth, not based on what we do, but who we are. And so God, regardless of our behavior, has designed us with this particular dignity and so rather than honor the King based on what he’s done, King Saul, he’s honoring the King based on who he is, image bearer of God, anointed of the Lord.

And David, in honor more to God than to Saul, is choosing to worship the Lord by how he chooses to treat Saul. And so we think about why should we forgive? Well, we consider the image or the person and the way we treat that person as worship before our King. If you skip down this passage to 1 Samuel, Chapter 26 and Verse 24, he says this. David says this, “Now behold, as your life was highly valued in my sight this day, so may my life be valued in the sight of the Lord and may he deliver me from all distress.”

So what David is saying here is, “Look, I came into this moment, not about you, but it’s been about my Lord. And I’m choosing to honor you because I desired to honor God in my life and because I’m choosing to walk that road, may God honor me.” Can we just say in the most difficult circumstances, when it might be hard to forgive, that is a great opportunity in those moments to truly honor your King. Anyone can forgive when it’s easy to forgive, but it’s God’s people that go through the struggle of learning and desiring to forgive, even when it’s adverse.

I’m going to talk about a few things about what forgiveness is and isn’t in just a moment, but forgiveness is about who we are in the Lord. Not only that, but it becomes hypocritical not to be a forgiving believer. When you think about where you are in Jesus, the only reason that you are where you are in Jesus is because of his mercy and grace. Even if you don’t belong to Jesus, the fact that God hasn’t come and brought judgment to this earth, Holy God, and this earth that lives sinfully against him. The only reason he has not brought his judgment is because he’s delaying his wrath in order to provide mercy and grace.

And this is where we find ourselves. The reason that we’re able to even stand and praise his name and seek his face and know him and have opportunity to turn to Christ and give glory to God is because of his mercy and grace. And so to then turn around and not offer it to anyone else, it is hypocritical to who we are. And sometimes we find ourselves that way in a struggle as people, right? We cry for grace in our own lives. “Lord, I just messed up. I need your grace.” But when someone offends us, that’s justice, right? Justice Jesus, bring justice. Let’s read the wrath passages together. God, we need this, right?

We want it in one terms, the grace of God and then deliver his wrath in others. But to be God’s people, it’s about understanding, look, justice is up to him and God calls me to be a light in this world. The way that I present his light is to extend his grace the way that he extended his grace to me. And number three, I think this is very important for David and his future. By forgiving, he ends the destructive cycle. I think when you read this story, it’s very easy to see how David could just snuck into that tent and ended all of his struggles that day, or at least the most recent struggle. Gone home and just sat in this castle, taking it easy.

But if David had done that, all David would have been doing is replacing Saul with another Saul. The same attitude and heart that made Saul destructive, David would have had to become, and that’s what a lack of forgiveness produces within us. We end up perpetuating the same hatred that got us there and it starts to control us. And David in these moments, rather than to respond in this way, he chooses to walk in the path of forgiveness. In Verse 10, it says this to us, “And David also said to Abishai, ‘As the Lord lives, surely the Lord will strike him or his day will come that he dies or he’ll go down into battle and perish.'”

If you think about that, he’s in this heavy conversation with Abishai, at risk to himself here, trying to explain his plan as they snuck all the way in. And David’s like, “Well, he could die tomorrow or he could die in battle or he could die a long, long time from now. The point is, he’s going to die and that death is up to God.” David’s like, “Tomorrow or sometime who knows when but it’ll happen eventually and all things will work out.”

But if it’s showing us where David is putting his reliance in this moment, isn’t it? In self or in God. And David is demonstrating the type of character that has trusted in God to get where he is and is going to continue to trust in God in those moments, rather than take things into his own hands and so he’s forgiving so he doesn’t become like the person in this moment who was King Saul. He doesn’t want to perpetuate it, but he’s turning it over to the Lord. So that’s why we forgive. So the question then is, “What is forgiveness?” What exactly is it?

When you think in terms of forgiveness, forgiveness is an act of obedience before it is felt. If you just put yourself in the shoes of these two characters for a moment who snuck into Saul’s tent, Abishai and David. The way David probably feels in this tent, isn’t necessarily the way he is choosing to act, and so in many ways, forgiveness becomes an act of obedience before it’s something that you feel. David looks at the moment, he’s thinking the spears fall, go home, rest, get out of the cave. And then Abishai, could you imagine being Abishai? David comes to his men and he’s like, “Who wants to sneak all the way in with me and see Saul for a moment?”

And all these guys are thinking, “I don’t want to risk my life.” And one of them stands up and he’s thinking, “I’ll be the hero at the end of the day. Sure. I’ll go in with David. They’ll write a song about me, just like they did with David. Let’s go in and do this.” And you get in and David’s like, “Wait, wait. That’s not why we’re here.” And you’re thinking, “What? David, right now we could all just go home and you want me to just turn around in this moment?” Could you imagine being Abishai?

Forgiveness is a commitment to obey before it is felt. You make a commitment to honor God despite adversity. I love the way, in a similar story, the way it says it about David, or not David, Daniel. In Daniel, Chapter 1, I think it’s Verse 8, that when Daniel was tempted to disobey his God and he’s offered the King’s choice food, and it says, “before David’s offered the food, he makes a decision not to defile himself with the King’s food.” He’s predetermined that he’s going to be obedient to the Lord, despite the circumstances.

And I think this is what David knows that he’s about before he goes even into Saul’s tent. And here’s how we know David’s heart is just humbled before the Lord, is because as the story transpires and David finally engages Saul, David doesn’t come to Saul and say, “You dirty, wicked, nasty, evil, old man.” He doesn’t approach Saul that way. In fact, when you look in Verse 17, listen to what he says. It says, “Then Saul recognized David’s voice and said, ‘Is this your voice, my son David?’ And David said, ‘It is my voice, my Lord, the King.”

David continued to acknowledge Saul as his Lord and King. A very humble interaction that David has. So forgiveness is an act of obedience before it’s felt. But let me tell you a couple of things that forgiveness isn’t, because I think this is just as important in our lives when we consider this. Forgiveness doesn’t mean you can’t approach an offender. Forgiveness doesn’t mean that you sweep things under the rug. In fact, when you read the story, you find, as it transpires down in Verse 21, that David, in fact, he is approaching Saul. After he gets the spear, he leaves with the spear and then he shouts at a safe distance to Saul and all of his men. Yo Abner, who is the leader in the army. He shouts down to them and he shows them that at any moment, he could have taken Saul’s life as he was in his tent as he’s holding the spear in his hand, and he’s approaching this conflict, this struggle, this need to forgive his enemy.

And David in this is showing and demonstrating his love towards Saul even though Saul is living in this insanity towards David and David is able to forgive because he cares about the Lord and he still cares about Saul. In fact, this was the most astounding thing to me. When you get to the end of Samuel, the Book of Samuel, and you start Chapter 2 and verse, or excuse me, 2 Samuel, Chapter 1, that when David finds out about the death of Saul, do you know what David does? He throws a party and celebrates. No, that’s not what he does.

He weeps and he sings a song of tribute to King Saul. Even in all of this struggle, David still loves Saul. So forgiveness doesn’t mean you can’t approach the offender. David points out Saul’s foolishness and David points out how he could have taken Saul’s life. And then look what Saul says in Verse 21. Then Saul said, “I have sinned.” He confesses. “Return, my son, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a serious error.” Saul says. And the humility of that moment, “I have sinned. I am a fool.” And how Saul got there where his heart was transformed.

Grace. Love. Love had that kind of impact in his heart. If David had approached this vindictively, I mean, you know how it goes. When someone’s offended you and you come to them, confront them vindictively. No one’s changing. No heart’s changing in that. But it’s in the humility, the grace, that Saul finally acknowledges what happened. And I love the end of this story because at the very end, this is what it tells us. Saul goes home. Saul quits pursuing David. David doesn’t return to his home yet, but he experiences that peace in not being hunted anymore.

Saul acknowledges this, but I think this is also important, David isn’t a fool about his forgiveness. Look, I think it’s important to forgive, but here’s what I want to encourage us to think about. Don’t confuse trust with forgiveness. Sometimes I’ve seen this in life, where people know scripture says, “You need to forgive,” and you go to forgive someone, or at least you struggle through it. None of us are perfect at forgiveness. There’s always a price to pay in forgiveness, right? This isn’t, I’m going to give you a magic word or magic thought and the rest of your life, you’re going to be the most perfect forgiving person in the world. This a struggle for every person on planet earth because there’s always a cost to forgiveness.

But what is important is not to confuse trust and forgiveness and I see people do this. They think sometimes, when we forgive, that means you need to be best friends. I’ll just show that I really have taken the [inaudible 00:27:25] to forgive, now we’ll be best friends. And you try to force this relationship that just doesn’t feel natural, and David has enough wisdom to not do this in this moment. And you see what King Saul says? “Return my son,” in Verse 21, “for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day.”

But in Verse 22, look what David said. Then David replied, “Behold, the spear of the King. Now let one of the young men come over and take it.” So what David’s saying is like, “I’m glad, Saul, that you think that I can come down and just be with your people again and hang out with you, but I’m not getting anywhere near you because I don’t trust you. Here’s your spear, someone can hike up the side of the hill and get it.”

So David is not even interested in keeping it as a trophy to brag to his friends, “Look what we did.” He’s really interested in the relationship between he and Saul but what David doesn’t do is simply trust Saul. It takes a lifetime to build trust and a moment to destroy it. Trust is valuable. Forgiveness and trust aren’t the same thing. You can certainly forgive, but it doesn’t mean you just swing the doors wide open with all the trust in the world. It’s important to put barriers of protection. You can forgive, but you got to build trust.

And that’s where David is in this story. So here’s the, I think, the big application question for us then. How. How can we find the power to forgive like that? How does David find the ability to weep over Saul’s death and to sing a song in honor of the King of Israel, first King of Israel? How does he do that? How do we do it? It’s easy to just say nothing rather than forgive and just boil over. What David did was hard. What the Bible calls us to in pursuing him and pursuing the Lord, it’s hard. So how do you get the power to forgive an offender?

I think for us, there are two platforms that God moves through our lives in order to help us find the strength to forgive and it’s not always easy. Forgiveness is an act of worship before the Lord, I hope that you can see that. And forgiveness, there is a cost and it’s an act of worship before the Lord. Same thing with Jesus, right? He forgave us. How did he forgive? He paid a cost. So maybe we could say forgiveness is one of those steps that we take as believers that looks more like Jesus than anything else. Jesus paid a tremendous cost to forgive me.

So how do we forgive others? How do we find that power and that strength? And I would say these two platforms. One is humility and the other, I could couple it together with two words, you can pick your favorite here. It’s either, “promise” or “position.” I think you get a position in Christ because the promises that you have in Christ, but either one of those, whatever’s most memorable, your promise or position. I’ll explain both of those, but let me talk about humility for just a moment.

I believe what we learn as Christians, when we pursue Jesus in relationship, the closer you are to the mercy of God in your own life and the closer you are to the grace of God being made known in your own life, the easier it becomes to forgive. I’m not saying it’s going to one day just be easy to forgive in every way. I always think that there’s a little bit of struggle in this, right? I’m not trying to pretend like I’m perfect at it. I’m not trying to say when you leave here today, you’re going to be perfect at it. What I’m saying is there’s a way to get stronger in it, right? And I think it works like this in our life. The closer you get to the mercy and grace of God in your own life, the easier you find it is to forgive others.

In fact, I think that’s the basis of Paul’s argument in Titus, Chapter 3. If I just read this to you, I know I didn’t put this in the notes, but if I just read this to you for just a moment, just listen to these words. It says, “Remind everyone to be subject to rulers and to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed.” And Paul is saying this, knowing that not all leaders and authorities are easy to follow. Verse 2, “To malign no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing every consideration for all men.” And that’s tough, right? How do you do that? You’re talking about people that have wronged me, people that have upset me, how do we do that?

And then he says this in Verse 3, “For we also were once foolish ourselves. Disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures. Spending our life in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.” But then what changed us? Verse 4, “But when the kindness of God our savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us not on the basis of deeds, which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy.”

Why in the World would I care about people in this world that are difficult and maligning and hateful and evil. Paul says because we ourselves walk the same road as people. But when the grace of God comes into your life, he saves us by his mercy. The more we become familiar with the need of God’s grace in our own lives, the more we’re able to extend it to others because we all need it. Humility becomes that platform that God uses for us to find the power to forgive and the other one is the promise and position that you have. I’m just going to be honest and say, when people offend me, sometimes the thing that will get my goat and get me riled up and get me angry is what I lost.

Whether it be something against me personally or something that’s taken from me. Get angry about that. Do they not know who I am? Or do they not know what that meant, right? But here’s the joy of what happens in Jesus. He gives you promise and position. I don’t want to downplay that loss. I think that whatever you lose in life, it can be painful. It can be hurtful. But here’s what I also think is important. It’s important to remind ourselves that it’s also just temporal because in Jesus, you have promises and position. And what I mean by that is this. In Christ, the Bible tells us that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to his purpose. So that in this world, you may temporarily lose, but in light of eternity in Jesus, you never lose anything. God will reconcile all wrong. God will make all things new and God will turn all things, right?

Whatever we suffer, whatever we lose, and I don’t want to make light of our struggles as people. I know sometimes we go through difficult things, but Jesus will win because Jesus has won. And before him, because of that, those promises, that position that you have, you have a greater hope beyond it all and you don’t have to get lost in the anger of that moment. Just like David said in Verse 10, “Whether Saul dies today or Saul dies in battle or Saul dies as in old age, I’m trusting it to my King because my great King reconciles it all and all of it is in his hands.”

And here’s what we know by the grace of God, that because of his grace, as you rest in him, that this King is for you. This King is for you and you don’t have to struggle and you don’t have to fight and you don’t have to hold onto the vengeance to make sure they get what they deserve because Jesus does. Jesus does. That’s his place. It doesn’t mean you can’t confront, David confronts. It doesn’t mean you can’t turn to the laws of the land and pursue legal action because you have laws of the land and so they’re there for a reason.

But it does mean you get to let go of the vindictiveness and the vengeance and turn it over to a God who is far greater. God can do more for you in those things then you can do in your own strength. And so what do we walk by? Humility, promise and position, because of his grace. And can I just remind us this morning? That’s the only reason we can even discuss things like this is because of the grace of God that’s already been delivered to us. His mercy makes us new every morning. Great is his faithfulness. No matter how much in your life you have screwed up, no matter how many times you fall on your face.

I know our human tendency is to run away from God and try to fix ourselves but that’s the opposite of what Jesus calls us to do. He calls us to come to him, to be renewed in him, to find mercy in him and his grace in him and forgiveness in him and to walk with him and let him strengthen us in our lives. And so, no matter where we are today, no matter what you’ve gone through, no matter what your struggle is, that’s the Bible. That’s the gospel. That’s the good news. Freedom in Jesus, let go of it all. Let your King handle it as he’s taken it to the cross on your behalf so that you can find freedom in him forever.

And so if you’ve never done that in your life, can I just tell you it’s this simple. To recognize that for us, it’s easy, but for him, it’s cost him everything. We bow our hearts before this King and say, “You’re right. You’re Lord. You’ve come. You’ve given your life. You’ve forgiven me of my sins. God, thank you for that grace. Free me. Make me new. Give me the promise of eternity and God may I delight in that relationship with you forever.

As today can be a day you do it now for the first time in your life, but can I encourage you, walk in it every day? Because that is the only path by which we find ourselves able to live in the freedom of Christ for which he calls us to.

The Wilderness