Today's devotion from 2 Samuel 3 & 4.
Revenge. Have you ever wanted to crush your opposition? Have you felt the corner of your lip curve in some small satisfaction at watching your adversary finally get what they've had coming? If ever anyone might feel justly for enjoying vengeance, David had a good case against the family of Saul. Saul had mercilessly and ruthlessly pursued him, taken his wife to give to another, forced him to flee not only his home, but the entire kingdom. To evade Saul, David had acted unstable at times, lived in caves, and told fabricated stories. Now, Saul is dead, and it is finally time for David to have his revenge.
Only, David doesn't see it that way. David has experienced the freedom of trusting God. He didn't feel the pressure to launch a political war because God had promised to bring him to the throne in time. He didn't feel the weight of defending his rule because he trusted God to preserve him. Therefore, when these two ruffians assassinated Ish-bosheth in his home, David was livid.
He had been devastated by the deaths of Saul and Jonathan. David was beside himself when Abner was murdered, and now he is filled with rage when Ish-bosheth was cut down. Some may have thought they were doing him favors, but David knew that a reign secured by blood would be kept by blood and likely end in blood. He had no need to stoop to this level when his trust was in the word and work of God.
How we respond to situations communicates loudly. In chapter 3, the people took note of his displeasure at the death of Abner, and it spoke volumes to the people regarding his character. David had determined that his throne would be established and built in righteousness or he would not have a throne. This was a decision that freed him from the oppressive darkness that can consume us when we allow our desires, ambitions, or unforgiveness to motivate us.
I know it can be hard, but if we trust God then we are freed from the need to defend constantly defend, justify, or avenge ourselves. Aren't you exhausted by the grudge you've been carrying? Has't that bitterness soured you long enough? Let it go, and enjoy the freedom that is trusting in God's provision and protection.