"May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you."
I Samuel 24: 12, 13, N.I.V.
"Evil Breeds Evil"
"In all men (and women) is evil sleeping; the good man (or woman) is he (she) who will not awaken it, in himself (herself) or in others."
Has someone done something evil that has caused great hurt to me or those I care about?
How did I respond to the act committed against me?
"The smallest revenge will poison the soul."
"Revenge is an inhuman word."
In his famous novel, Moby Dick, written in 1851, author Herman Melville wrote these words which reflect a great truth, "Ah, God! What trances of torments does that man endure who is consumed with one unachieved revengeful desire." I don't know if the author of these words had read the Psalms or for that matter, the Biblical account of David's life, however, if he had, I certainly think he could have come to the same conclusion as David. Revenge is for fools. As author Francis Bacon so aptly penned, "A man that studieth revenge keeps his wound green" and I'd add that this sentiment applies directly to women, as well.
After all David had suffered at the hand of King Saul, when given the opportunity to take events into his own hands and get back at the king, in the most eloquent words, David looked Saul in the eye and told him, "I will not touch you."
But this wasn't all David said to Saul. He also informed Saul that the judging would be left to God. A lesson you and I need to be reminded of frequently. We don't know all the facts or circumstances surrounding events and individuals. For us to think we have all the knowledge needed in a given situation to render our judgment perfect and unerring is both ridiculous and arrogant.
With this fact deeply engrained in his mind, David told Saul that God, who knows all, would be the final judge.
And then David continued with one last thought. The Message Bible states the phrase in
I Samuel 24: 13 this way: "Evil deeds come from evil people." In other words, revengeful deeds also come from revengeful people. Hurtful acts committed against one person are done so by hurtful people.
The way Jesus translated this text in the New Testament is simply this: "Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7: 20).
It's so easy in the world in which we live to want to get even with someone who does evil to us. If a Saul chases us, falsely accuses us and lashes out at us, we long to set the record straight. We want to balance the scales. And much of the time there's good reason for wanting to get even. But as we seek to take vengeance into our own hands, we only wound ourselves more. In fact, the evil we direct at others leaves a scar on our own lives.
Not long ago I read a beautiful little prayer written by an unknown author. The words of this prayer are a true reflection of David's words to Saul, "I will not lay a hand on you."
"Anything, God, but hate;
I have known it in my day,
And the best it does is scar your soul
And eat your heart away.
Man must know more than hate,
As the years go rolling on;
For the stars survive and the spring survives,
Only man denies the dawn.
God, if I have but one prayer
Before the cloud-wrapped end,
I'm sick of hate and the waste it makes.
Let me be my brother's friend."
"The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you."
John E. Southard
"Despise Not Any Man That Lives"
"Despise not any man that lives,
Alien or neighbor, near or far;
Go out beneath the scornful stars,
And see how very small you are.
The world is large, and space is high
That sweeps around our little ken;
But there's no space or time to spare
In which to hate our fellow men.
And this, my friend, is not the work for you;
Then leave all this for smaller men to do."
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.