Fri., Feb. 18/22
The book of 2nd Samuel opens with David learning of the death of Saul by an Amalakite messenger who had been on the scene and who in fact was the agent in finishing off the wounded and agonizing king. This messenger may well have thought himself the bearer of good news to David for Saul had become David’s most persistent and untrustworthy adversary repeatedly seeking to kill him. But such respect had David for the first king of Israel that he had the messenger slain for the role he had played in Saul’s demise.
David recognizes the divine appointment of this man. Though kingly rule had not been God’s intention for His people, He granted them a king as a concession to their unceasing whining to be like the nations around them. If second best was what they demanded then the Lord would select the best second best available. He commissioned Samuel to anoint Saul. Hence David rightly refers to Saul as “the Lord’s anointed” and as such worthy of respect.
This sort of respect for authorities is most uncommon in our world today. In a society where the notion of a sovereign God is abandoned no enduring standard of right and wrong remains. We are left to our own disparate imaginings. As the psalmist asks, “If the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Ps. 11:3).
Christ asks that we demonstrate grace to the undeserving; God Himself will settle the final accounting… “Give to everyone what you owe them: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.” (Rom. 13:7, NIV). “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”* (Rom. 12:18-19).
Jesus clearly taught “…love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Why? “…that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matt. 5:44-45). Why? Because God’s acts are not based on human merit, they are based on Who He is.
Grace to the undeserving — isn’t that exactly how He has treated us?