“But he hit me first!”
How often do we hear this from kids when they get into fights? And yet, so often as adults, we make the same kind of excuses when it comes to unforgiveness and revenge.
“Why should I forgive? He hasn’t even apologized.”
“Of course I’m bitter! I have a right to be bitter after what he did!”
“I’m not the one who started this! But I am going to finish it!”
But in the words of Abigail, we find a different way of thinking.
In pleading for forgiveness on behalf of her husband, she said to David,
Please forgive your servant’s offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord’s battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God. But the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. (25:28-29)
“Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. Even though…”
I should make it clear that these are actually two completely different sentences, and the “even though” is linking “someone is trying to kill you,” and “the Lord will protect you.” But as I was reading this passage, “Even though” seemed to also click well with “Let no wrongdoing be found in you.”
And it made me think, “It doesn’t matter what the circumstances are. It doesn’t matter how badly someone has treated you. God desires that no evil or wrongdoing be found in you.”
In David’s case, that meant, “Even though Nabal treated you badly. Even though Saul is seeking your life.” Even though…let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live.
Even though someone has hurt you, let no wrongdoing be found in you.
Even though someone has treated you badly, let no root of bitterness sprout up in your heart.
Even though someone deserves it, let no thoughts of revenge float up in your mind.
Rather, as Paul puts it,
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:31-32)
I really think God brought Abigail into David’s life to remind him of this, and that these words resonated with him when, shortly after, he had yet another chance to kill Saul. Here he had spared Saul once before, and yet Saul came after him once again. It would’ve been so easy for David to get angry and say, “Fine! I spared you once, but you insist on seeing me as your enemy. If you want me as an enemy, I’ll be your enemy.”
But instead, he remembered the words of Abigail. “Let no wrongdoing be found in you, even though someone is pursuing you to take your life.” And so he spared Saul once again.
How about you? Do you make excuses for the bitterness in your heart? Do you make excuses for thoughts of revenge? Do you make excuses for unforgiveness in your heart? Remember the words of Abigail.
Let no wrongdoing (or evil) be found in you. Even though…