Restraint — that is something that is sorely missing in today’s world! Consequently, I have to call on the Holy Spirit DAILY to help with restraint when it comes to responding to people on social media. Imagine what a kinder, gentler world we would have if everyone did that. But, alas, not everyone has the power of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. You could, you know!
Today we start with a psalm and end with a story. It tells of David using the power of the Holy Spirit, given to him by God, to not do what he really wants to do, but what he SHOULD do instead. It’s rather surprising. An unbelievable opportunity presents itself — do you take advantage of it? Let’s dig in…
Psalm 57 – A Prayer for Safety from Enemies
To the Chief Musician. Set to “Do Not Destroy.” A Michtam of David when he fled from Saul into the cave.
Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!
For my soul trusts in You;
And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge,
Until these calamities have passed by.
2 I will cry out to God Most High (Elohim-Elyon in Hebrew),
To God who performs all things for me.
3 He shall send from heaven and save me;
He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah (Interlude)
God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.
4 My soul is among lions;
I lie among the sons of men
Who are set on fire,
Whose teeth are spears and arrows,
And their tongue a sharp sword.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
Let Your glory be above all the earth.
6 They have prepared a net for my steps;
My soul is bowed down;
They have dug a pit before me;
Into the midst of it they themselves have fallen. Selah
7 My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast;
I will sing and give praise.
8 Awake, my glory!
Awake, lute and harp!
I will awaken the dawn.
9 I will praise You, O Lord, among the peoples;
I will sing to You among the nations.
10 For Your mercy reaches unto the heavens,
And Your truth unto the clouds.
11 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;Psalm 57 NKJV
Let Your glory be above all the earth.
- “My soul trusts in you”! Do you trust God with all your soul? You can, you know.
- “O God Most High”! Elohim-Elyon in Hebrew. No one is higher than God — that’s God, the Father, Jesus, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Humans should NEVER raise ANYONE or ANYTHING higher than God! That includes Mary and the saints. Venerating them and praying to them, puts God aside. That is idolatry and paganism. Doing that is no better than the pagans of Old Testament!
- David’s enemies prepare a trap for him, but they fall into it instead. Vengeance is the Lord’s! It’s not up to us to be vengeful. Leave that to God. The wicked will get theirs in the end.
Now for the story….
1 Samuel 24
After Saul returned from fighting the Philistines, he was told that David had gone into the wilderness of En-gedi. 2 So Saul chose 3,000 elite troops from all Israel and went to search for David and his men near the rocks of the wild goats.
3 At the place where the road passes some sheepfolds, Saul went into a cave to relieve himself. But as it happened, David and his men were hiding farther back in that very cave!
4 “Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe.
5 But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” 7 So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul.
After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way, 8 David came out and shouted after him, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked around, David bowed low before him.
9 Then he shouted to Saul, “Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you? 10 This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the Lord’s anointed one.’ 11 Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me.
12 “May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. 13 As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds.’ So you can be sure I will never harm you. 14 Who is the king of Israel trying to catch anyway? Should he spend his time chasing one who is as worthless as a dead dog or a single flea? 15 May the Lord therefore judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!”
16 When David had finished speaking, Saul called back, “Is that really you, my son David?” Then he began to cry. 17 And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. 18 Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the Lord put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it. 19 Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today. 20 And now I realize that you are surely going to be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will flourish under your rule. 21 Now swear to me by the Lord that when that happens you will not kill my family and destroy my line of descendants!”
22 So David promised this to Saul with an oath. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went back to their stronghold.1 Samuel 24 NLT
Patience and Restraint
- Could you have done what David did?
- Saul had 3000 elite troops. David had only 600 — and they were a rather motley crew.
- Many times we want to jump the gun and take matters into our own hands and usually that doesn’t turn out exactly the way we’d hope.
- We must trust in God’s justice. God turned the tables on Saul.
- Take the opportunity not for vengeance, but to live by faith.
- David respected King Saul’s position — the anointed king.
- Patience is part of the Fruit of the Spirit!
Examples from Jesus
Jesus teaches us how to live…
Blessed are the meek,Matthew 5:5 NJKV
For they shall inherit the earth.
Jesus was a meek and merciful King who never sought revenge while He was on earth. That will come later.
He taught us to love our enemies…
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.Matthew 5:43-48 NLT
Peter wrote of Jesus…
23 He did not retaliate when he was insulted,1 Peter 2:23 NLT
nor threaten revenge when he suffered.
He left his case in the hands of God,
who always judges fairly.
21 Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.Romans 12:21 NLT
So, the next time someone insults you on social media, what are you going to do? Here’s where a WWDD comes in — what would David do? Think before you comment. Think before you post. Please, think before you share. Is what you’re going to say or share helpful? Is it in a positive note? Finally, is it important?
The Holy Spirit in your heart does change you!
What’s so wonderful is that you, too, can have the Holy Spirit like David did. He is our gift from Jesus until He comes back for us. However, there are some things that you need to do first….
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
Here is an excellent teaching by Amir Tsarfati of Behold Israel from Ein Gedi, Israel, where David was hiding. He tells the story so beautifully! Subscribe to his YouTube Channel. I had the pleasure of hearing him speak here in Phoenix last week. That video is below….