"Snippets" from David

Vengeance and Wisdom

The desire for vengeance is a consuming passion.  Vengeance tends to be extremely selfish.  The person is so consumed with ‘serving justice,’ ‘settling the score,’ ‘getting even,’ or ‘righting a wrong’ that he or she gives little or no thought to the consequences of the action taken.  All that matters is that vengeance is satisfied!

2 Samuel 3:22-30 tells of Joab killing Abner to avenge the death of Asahel in the battle of Gibeon.  Asahel’s death occurred because he pursued Abner and refused to end his chase (2 Samuel 2:23).  Asahel was determined to kill Abner, but Abner had no desire to kill Asahel.  He tried to prevent Asahel’s death more than once.  However, the young, swift Asahel refused to heed Abner’s warning.  The result was Asahel’s death.

Asahel was Joab’s brother, a son of David’s sister.  The Mosaical law gave a family member the right to avenge the blood of a fallen family member.  Perhaps Joab killed Abner on the basis of the instructions found in Numbers 35:16-21, though these instructions do not deal with acts of war.  Wherever Joab found his justification, he was so consumed by his determination to kill the man who killed his brother that he did not consider the healing of the nation.

Abner died as a result of Joab’s deceit.  Joab was satisfied because the man who killed his brother was dead.  Only King David immediately knew the impact of this deed on the healing of the nation (see 2 Samuel 3:28).  A person’s desire for vengeance was satisfied, but the healing of a nation was in the balance—and might not occur.  King David understood that Joab’s act was a rash act that could not be justified (see 2 Samuel 3:39).  Abner’s death was an evil act produced by an evil man.

Small people seek vengeance.  Godly people seek healing.

Many problems would quickly become obsolete or disappear entirely in the Lord’s kingdom if small people did not insist on seeking vengeance.  It is amazing what lengths some people go to in order to obtain vengeance without considering the impact of their deeds on God’s purposes.

Make it the purpose and objective of your life to bring healing to conflict so that wounds may heal, not be irritated.  When your body has decayed and become nothing but bones may the impact of your deeds continue to live as health in God’s kingdom.

23 May, 2007
David Chadwell

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