Response to Assault

But an evil spirit from the LORD came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the harp, Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall.

I Samuel 19:9-10


As Saul sought to take David’s life, David asked Jonathan, Saul’s son, what he had done to cause Saul to be so angry that he would want to kill him. David knew that he was innocent of wrongdoing, yet he knew that Saul was the king and therefore he would not touch God’s anointed. (I Samuel 24:10) After being anointed by Samuel to be king, David spent his early years running and hiding from Saul. The passage in I Samuel 19 describes an evil spirit that came upon Saul as he was sitting with the spear in his hand. David eluded him as he had many times before. David was wronged. He had done nothing to deserve this kind of treatment from Saul, yet he was not going to retaliate.

In my own life, I have experienced times when I have felt the pain of spears and have wanted to get even. We must see things, however, from the perspective of heaven and replace our retaliation spears with the mantle of love. Courageous leaders know that to be like Jesus, they must abandon selfish ambition and vain conceit. It is by God’s supernatural grace that we are able to retreat and not seek revenge. If we want to lead others, we must love courageously and depend on God to protect and deliver us.

Has someone wronged you? Perhaps someone has said things about you that were not true and damaged your reputation. The Lord may call you to bring the truth into the light and confront the person. He may ask you to do nothing. Regardless, we are called to be like Christ in our attitudes: Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kind of evil against you because of me. (Matthew 5:11) James tells us that we should consider our trials as joy because the Lord will use them to develop our character in Christ:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4) The Lord may be calling you to pray for the person who has insulted or wronged you.

He may be asking you to lovingly confront the offense. But regardless of His ultimate plan, He uses our willingness to not retaliate to grow Christlike character in us. Although constraining ourselves from retaliation goes against our human nature, God will see us through.


Heavenly Father,

I want to justify my actions and retaliate against those who wrong me. Release me from my anger and lead me in prayer.

In Jesus’ name, Amen

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