Love Your Enemies
Jesus, I want to love like You. Give me Your eyes, so that I may see others as You do, and give me Your heart for them.
Read 2 Samuel 1:1-16
 After the death of Saul, David returned from striking down the Amalekites and stayed in Ziklag two days.  On the third day a man arrived from Saul’s camp with his clothes torn and dust on his head. When he came to David, he fell to the ground to pay him honor.  “Where have you come from?” David asked him. He answered, “I have escaped from the Israelite camp.”  “What happened?” David asked. “Tell me.” “The men fled from the battle,” he replied. “Many of them fell and died. And Saul and his son Jonathan are dead.”  Then David said to the young man who brought him the report, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?”  “I happened to be on Mount Gilboa,” the young man said, “and there was Saul, leaning on his spear, with the chariots and their drivers in hot pursuit.  When he turned around and saw me, he called out to me, and I said, ‘What can I do?’  “He asked me, ‘Who are you?’ “‘An Amalekite,’ I answered.  “Then he said to me, ‘Stand here by me and kill me! I’m in the throes of death, but I’m still alive.’  “So I stood beside him and killed him, because I knew that after he had fallen he could not survive. And I took the crown that was on his head and the band on his arm and have brought them here to my lord.”  Then David and all the men with him took hold of their clothes and tore them.  They mourned and wept and fasted till evening for Saul and his son Jonathan, and for the army of the LORD and for the nation of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.  David said to the young man who brought him the report, “Where are you from?” “I am the son of a foreigner, an Amalekite,” he answered.  David asked him, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the LORD’s anointed?”  Then David called one of his men and said, “Go, strike him down!” So he struck him down, and he died.  For David had said to him, “Your blood be on your own head. Your own mouth testified against you when you said, ‘I killed the LORD’s anointed.'” Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHow did David react to this news?
Saul was David’s biggest enemy and persecutor. Jonathan, Saul’s son, was one of David’s closest allies and friends. When David hears about their deaths he grieves for both of them (12). We would expect David to show sadness at the death of his best friend but perhaps less so at the death of his enemy. How might you have reacted in his shoes?There is a further dimension of surprise here. Saul was not merely David’s enemy but his rival for the kingship. Saul’s death clears the way for David to become king, giving David even more reason to rejoice. Yet, we are told, “he mourned and wept and fasted,” for both Jonathan and Saul. David also shows his grief in the way he treats the man who has brought news of Saul’s death. The news bearer believes that he will be rewarded for killing Saul and tries to justify his action by explaining that Saul was already badly injured and likely to die (10). But David views him as a murderer and orders his execution (14,15). Saul may have been David’s enemy, but he was still “the Lord’s anointed” (16) whom only God should remove.
How willing are you to forgive past grievances or to welcome opportunities for reconciliation?
Jesus, the Gospel message is You loving and forgiving Your enemies. Help me live this reality that has benefited me.
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