Melting a Grudge Glacier

What do yo do when a relationship with someone has broken down to the point where it’s a grudge bearing standoff?  David’s relationship with Saul had so deteriorated when the latter wandered into a cave to relieve himself in 1 Samuel 24.  He was anything but alone!  What did David do?  Sieze the day and slay his enemy?  Nope.

Saul’s 3000 men watched Saul exit the cave, but then observed his arch enemy, David, exit from the same patch of darkness, carrying not Saul’s cut off head, but his cut off hem.  Though Saul had been blood-hounding for David’s life, David spared Saul’s life, doing his enemy a great kindness, returning good for evil.

“Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept” (24:16).  By rendering good for evil, David melted Saul.

We see the power of forbearing gentleness to exorcise hate.  The true way to overcome evil is to melt it by fiery coals of gentleness. That’s God’s way. An iceberg may be crushed to powder, but every fragment is still ice. Only sunshine that melts it will turn it into sweet water. Love is the only conqueror. — Alexander Maclaren

The story is told of Alexander the Great’s father, Philip of Macedon.  He had a mortal enemy named Arcadius who slandered (wrote scathing blogs against) Philip among the other Greek provinces.  One day, an advisor to Philip informed him that Arcadius had ventured into Macedon, and counseled that Philip make Arcadius pay dearly for his disrespect.  Instead, Philip had Arcadius apprehended, then loaded down the slanderer’s beasts with gifts and provisions, sending him away piled high with kindnesses.  Months later, the same advisor informed Philip that Arcadius had become one of Philip’s warmest supporters, broadcasting praise wherever he went.

Philip responded with a smile: “Am I not a better physician than you?”

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

A Sermon on 1 Samuel 24:1-2: Love For Hate in the Cave:

About savedbygrace1976

Mark Chanski (author of Manly Dominion; Womanly Dominion; and Encouragement: Adrenaline for the Soul) has labored as a full-time Pastor since 1986 in churches in Ohio and Michigan. He has been Pastor of Harbor Church in Holland, Michigan, since 1994. He has also been elected as Coordinator of the Reformed Baptist Network. He holds a Bachelor's degree from Cornerstone University, and a Master of Divinity degree from Grand Rapids Theological Seminary. He teaches Hermeneutics for the Reformed Baptist Seminary in Sacramento, CA. Mark is married to his wife Dianne, and has fathered their four sons and one daughter, whose ages stretch from 36 to 26 (born 1983 to 1994).
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