Archive for August 1st, 2006

Forgiveness

Tuesday, August 1st, 2006

Please read 1 Samuel 26:1-25 (NRSV) (The Message) out loud if possible.

As you read, consider these questions: What might God be saying to me in this passage? What jumps out at me? At the end of the reading, try to summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two before reading on.

My thoughts on this passage (David Zier):

David and Saul have a checkered history together, and both could be categorized as vindictive and hostile.

When David is angry, he tends to fly off the handle and take matters into his own hands. However, in Chapter 25 David repented, made a confession and, in a sense, told God “No more.” In Chapter 24, while Saul was chasing David, he was trapped in a cave with David and could easily have been slain, but David held off. Saul, therefore, swore repentance, confessed his sin, and told David, “No more.” So now both men have made confessions regarding their sin of violence and revenge and have agreed their actions were wrong.

In today’s reading, the saga continues. Saul is once again out to get David, and David once again finds himself in a position where he could have murdered Saul, just as in the Cave. Saul indicates to David, “I will never harm you again because my life was precious in your sight today; I have been a fool, and have made a great mistake.”

Ever been stuck in a cycle like this? It could be someone who holds a grudge against me, or someone who did something bad to me so I have to do something even more evil back to them, or maybe I just can’t stand seeing someone else succeed and have abundant blessings from God so I have a need to tear them down.

It seems we continue to repeat the David and Saul stories year after year in our own lives. The hope I find here is that they do reconcile. David had several chances to kill Saul, but he chose to take the higher ground. When something similar happens to us, how often do we take the higher ground?

Jesus tells us that we are to forgive seven times seventy. Do we practice that principle? As we allow Jesus to transform us, we need to let the righteousness of God take over our souls. If Jesus is always the first to forgive us, and we are supposed to be like Jesus, then perhaps we should be the first to forgive others.

Thought for the day: I’ve been forgiven. Am I passing it on?

Today, let’s join together in prayer for: The people caught in the middle in the fight between Israel and Hezbollah — perhaps especially for the people of Qana, and the loved ones of all those who were killed.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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