Friday, April 27, 2012

practicing restraint (David did)


So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul. After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way,

David had every right to kill Saul.  Or so it seemed.  Since coming to serve King Saul, David had been blessed by God.  He had killed Goliath saving the name of the king and his subjects as well as avenging the mocking of their God.  David became a thorn in Saul’s side, and Saul decided to remove David.

He was anointed king.  Saul was the king the people asked for.  David was anointed king when Saul decided to turn away from God.  Every time that Saul tried to remove or kill David something gave David the ability to get away.  This happened many times.  Through it all David and Saul’s son, Jonathan, became great friends.  That is a story for another day.

As David ran from Saul there were opportunities for David to take matters in to his own hand and kill Saul.  The verse above shows us that practicing restraint is a noble thing.  It wasn’t the right time.  It wasn’t God’s time.

Yet God had a plan.  I am often asked by people, even by my own heart and mind, what God’s will is.  The fact is we need to make sure our actions and our choices line up with what God would have us to do.  David did that.  He feared stepping out on his own and away from God.

The Bible is full of truth and wisdom that will guide our steps and our actions if we follow them.  Until we have the word from God to step forward we need to do as David did and continue practicing restraint.  What does that mean?

It could mean that we practice restraint in how we spend money or in how we gather debt.  It could mean practicing restraint in how we press ourselves forward in work or social situations.  It could mean practicing restraint in the things we indulge in, some of them are blatantly wrong and others are questionable.  It could mean simply choosing humility.

We can make our own plans, but the LORD gives the right answer.

I want to be like David.  Yes, David made mistakes that I don’t want to repeat … adultery, murder, deceit … but there are many things that I want to emulate as often as possible.  David feared God.  His heart was turned to toward, and the Bible even tells is that David was a man after God’s own heart.

But God removed Saul and replaced him with David, a man about whom God said, ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart. He will do everything I want him to do.’

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