Enemy or Family?
Gracious Lord, let Your healing light shine on me today. Grant me wholeness: body, mind, and spirit.
Read 1 Samuel 26:17-25
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.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort” (2 Cor. 1:3). Contrast God’s faithfulness with Saul’s fickleness.
Relationships are often complex. Any teacher in a school where family members or children of close friends are pupils knows the importance of keeping roles separate. In class, Uncle Brian becomes Mr. Jones. Usually the two realms are easily kept apart, but if Mr. Jones is perceived as making an unfair decision, then the relationship with Uncle Brian can be seriously harmed!
In the past, Saul and David had been like family. The last time David had spared Saul’s life in this way he had called Saul “my father” and Saul eventually referred to David as “my son” (1 Sam. 24:11,16). Here also, Saul quickly comes to his senses and three times refers to David as “my son” (17,21,25), but for David, enough is enough. Saul’s previous assurances had proved to be false, and David could no longer bring himself to trust him. This time he refers to Saul only as “my lord the king” (17). He continues to give him the respect and honor that a king deserves, but that is all. For David, the family relationship is no longer in play–in spite of Saul’s repentance, his plea for him to “come back,” and his promise, “I will not try to harm you again” (21). David could no longer think of Saul as his father, so he simply heads off in a different direction.
The sad thing is that Saul this time may have really meant it. There is no further mention of any animosity towards David. We are given details of their separate activities, but the next mention of them together is when David mourns after Saul’s death. Saul waited too late to put the relationship right. He had treated his “son” as an enemy, and eventually that is how David came to see Saul.
What relationship comes to mind when you think about being manipulated, taken advantage of, and betrayed? How can David’s example help you as you process this hurt?
Lord Jesus, You told Your disciples they were to be as wise as serpents and as harmless as doves. I ask for that wisdom and grace as I seek wholeness and health in my relationships.