The Choice of Revenge or Refuge

When we suffer mistreatment and offense from others, we are confronted with the choice to either take revenge into our own hand or to take refuge in the sovereign hands of God. Shortly after stepping up as the savior of Israel and striking down the great enemy of God’s people, David gained an incredible increase in popularity among the people of Israel. This was very displeasing to Israel's King Saul, and in his envy, he became very angry and “eyed David from that day on”.

Over the next ten chapters in the book of Samuel, we come to see that David’s greatest afflictions did not come from his Gentile enemies but rather from his own people under the self-motivated leadership of King Saul. And as the persecution heats up, David flees to Samuel, God’s anointed and faithful prophet, to find refuge and godly wisdom. 

David could have just as easily executed Israel’s King as he had the Philistine's Giant, but instead he choses to pursue the path of peace, justice and righteousness. His desire is to do what is most pleasing to His Lord.

How often do we find ourselves seeking revenge for ourselves rather than seeking refuge in God?

Although David is fully aware of his rights as the future King of Israel, he continues to humbly submit to the will of God enduring persecution and waiting patiently for God to give him his throne rather than trying to take it for himself.

In the life of David, we are given the fullest anticipation of the greater King who was to come many years later. The greatest afflictions brought upon our Lord would not come from outside enemies but would come from the hands of His own people under the self-motivated leadership of Israel’s religious authorities. However rather than seeking revenge for Himself, our Lord sought refuge in His Father in Heaven and patiently endured the persecution of the cross slaying the ultimate Giant of Death and Sin.

On account of Christ's willingness to wait patiently on God's promise, God has highly exalted Him to His ultimate throne and given Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Philippians 2) As we study the life of David and consider the greater life of Christ, may we seek refuge in our Lord who has rescued us from our ultimate enemies (Satan, sin and death), and may we pursue the path of peace, justice and righteousness as subjects to the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords.

Do not say, “I will repay evil”; wait for the LORD, and he will deliver you. (Proverbs 20:22)

For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:21-23)