Principles vs. Precepts

What an epitaph! Not, “I found David to be a great warrior,” or, “I found David to be a faithful shepherd,” or, “I found David to be a brilliant king”—none of those things. It says, “I found David to care about the things I care about. He’s a man whose heart beats in sync with Mine.

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Take Control

Behind the great tragedy of Saul’s life is a very interesting analogy—an analogy between Saul’s death and Christ’s death. At first glance we might say, “What in the world would we find common to both Saul and Christ?” Actually, there are six analogies worth noting.

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Your Epitaph

What do you think those who survive you will write as your epitaph? How will your obituary read? What words will be used in the eulogy to sum up your life? Saul’s epitaph was a sad one, summing up the tragic life of this man who played such an important role in David’s life.

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“A Very Present Help”

David had reached the point in life where some people think of taking their own lives. He was so far down the ladder of despair that he’d reached the bottom rung. The last stop. The place where you either jump off into oblivion or you cry out to God for His forgiveness. For rescue.

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He’ll Handle It

Mission accomplished! Everybody wins. David and his men go back full of food and all the wiser. Fantastic! Abigail goes home, and her husband puts his arm around her and says, “Honey, thanks. You’re a great lady . . . more precious than rubies.” No. I wish it said that. On the contrary.

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Patiently Waiting

My, oh my, did David learn a lesson! “Blessed be God. He kept me from murdering this man—from doing evil. I don’t have to fight that kind of battle, that’s God’s job. If vengeance is required, it is God’s to do.”

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Critical Decisions

AbigaiI knew her husband, didn’t she? Everyone knew what he was like, so why hide it? Why try to cover up what he had done? She didn’t. And yet she took the responsibility upon herself. “When you sent those ten men and they had that interaction with my husband, I wasn’t there to give another kind of response.

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Wise Protection

Four hundred men! That’ll probably handle Nabal, don’t you think? When you overdo something in our house, we have a saying, “You’re killing a roach with a shotgun.” You kill the roach all right, but you blow the wall out at the same time. Hey, nobody puts on a sword just to have a discussion, so we have a pretty good idea what’s going through David’s mind here.

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Revenge or Forgiveness?

All this brings me to three helpful principles to live by when it comes to life’s most subtle temptation. Each is worth remembering when we are mistreated.

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A Clear Conscience

David told Saul the whole unvarnished truth; he told it to the person to whom it mattered most. Not to his comrades or to Saul’s friends or to the people of Israel but to Saul himself. He came to terms with the individual with whom there was the battle.

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