I can be at times harsh, critical, short and impatient with people. My standards for myself are much lower than what I expect from others. I have high and lofty opinions and get annoyed so easily. I have much to learn.
We join the story when something happens where David is at the mercy of Saul. The people of Ziph offer to hand over David to Saul. (1 Samuel 23:19-20) Saul gives out a learnt platitude “May you be blessed by the Lord”. Off go the Ziphites to carry out Saul’s wishes. It’s a strange thing as at one point David and Saul are circling the same mountain. But then in another strange twist Saul is called away (vs 27) and David escapes.
David was experiencing the mercy of God. He could have been slaughtered, but God intervened again and saved him. His God is rich in mercy (Eph 2:4)
We know what Saul would have done if he had caught David, but what if the situation was reversed? Fast forward a bit to when Saul is in En Gedi (1 Samuel 24:1) and goes after David with three thousand men. Alone he enters a cave to go to the loo, he is alone and vulnerable. David’s men see this as a wonderful opportunity to slaughter him, (vs 4) but David will not touch the Lord’s anointed, but rather removes the corner of Saul’s robe. He does tell Saul what he has done and appeals to the Lord to be his judge (vs12-15). David is learning strong lessons about forgiveness, non-vindictiveness and judging. David would one day be a recipient of mercy and wrote Psalm 51 where he details the depths of depravity and the wonders of God’s mercy. Will you extend mercy to those who don’t deserve it?
This incident reveals the power of mercy. David’s godly restraint has an effect upon Saul and he is deeply moved.
As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 1 Samuel 24:16
His actions have an effect on Saul:
He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the LORD put me into your hands. 1 Samuel 24:17-18
Ok we all know it will not last. Learning mercy, being merciful is something we as Christians have to learn and not to lose when we are under pressure as it demonstrates the mercy given to us by God. Showing mercy is learnt in pressured situations which most of us are living in right now. We must live by the same mercy we have received.
I can’t get out of my mind the final scenes of the Tom Hanks movie Castaway where he is rescued from the ocean. A wonderful picture of what it means to be rescued. Laughter, tears, joy, unbelief, gratefulness, all as one big mess of emotion. I have been saved!
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 1 Peter 1:3
So having received it, let’s demonstrate it to the world.