1 Samuel 25:29–34
29 “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in his treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling! 30 When the Lord has done all he promised and has made you leader of Israel, 31 don’t let this be a blemish on your record. Then your conscience won’t have to bear the staggering burden of needless bloodshed and vengeance. And when the Lord has done these great things for you, please remember me, your servant!”
32 David replied to Abigail, “Praise the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you to meet me today! 33 Thank God for your good sense! Bless you for keeping me from murder and from carrying out vengeance with my own hands. 34 For I swear by the Lord, the God of Israel, who has kept me from hurting you, that if you had not hurried out to meet me, not one of Nabal’s men would still be alive tomorrow morning.”
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.”
Three things strike me as I think about this incident in the life of David and our lives today.
Whatever you do when conflicts arise, be wise. If you’re not careful, you will handle conflicts in the energy of the flesh. And then . . . you’ll be sorry. What do I mean by being wise? Well, look at the whole picture. Fight against jumping to quick conclusions and seeing only your side. Look both ways. Weigh the differences. There are always two sides on the streets of conflict. Weigh the differences. The other part of being wise is to pray. Get God’s perspective. He gives us the wisdom we need when we ask Him for it.
Take each conflict as it comes . . . and handle it separately. You may have won a battle yesterday, but that doesn’t count when today’s skirmish comes. You may have a great measure of patience today, but it makes no difference tomorrow when the attack comes again. God doesn’t give you patience on credit. Every day is a new day.
Whenever you realize that there’s nothing you can do, wait. Wait patiently. Impossible impasses call for a firm application of brakes. Don’t keep going. Restrain yourself from anything hasty. Whenever possible, apply the brakes! Slow down. I’ve seldom made wise decisions in a hurry. Furthermore, I’ve seldom felt sorry for things I didn’t say. David obviously learned this lesson well, for he writes in Psalm 40,
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay;
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. (Psalm 40:1–2)
Psalm 40 never says that David’s situation changed. It says David changed. When you wait, your situation may not change, but you will. In fact, you may discover that the reason for waiting was all for your benefit, because you’re the one who needed to change.
There are always two sides on the streets of conflict. Weigh the differences.
— Charles R. Swindoll