Thought for the Day by Janet Lindley from All Hallows’:
“I will go with you”
“I will go with you” that’s what Abishai replied. So they walked right into the King’s camp.
You can just imagine Abishai’s internal sound track, highway to the danger zone, pounding in his head.
Striding out with David, into the middle of 3,000 enemy troops, pumped up and ready for some action. And what delicious news, everyone asleep and the King snoozing like a baby.
Abishai was on it. Ready with a spear with the obvious tactical move for his master – kill the King. Surely God had given this victory.
He couldn’t understand it. David could take out the enemy, but all he does is pinch the King’s water-bottle and weapon.
This was no straightforward relationship. David, the shepherd boy, promoted at speed after the death of Goliath, had married into royalty. But the popularity of the giant-slaying hero made the King jealous. So much so that the King had been trying to kill David for some time. And it wasn’t the first time David had the chance to kill his father-in-law either.
And David’s response: let God be in control of the King’s future and when he should die. Given the gory genocides that follow, don’t assume David has turned from violence. But how much of this mercy was inspired by God or military strategy?
It is difficult to tell. But then again we know that from our own lives. Our actions are rarely straightforward. There are relationships, history and our own personalities that have a bearing on how we respond.
Thankfully God gave us the perfect human example of how to live life fully centred on love. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, shows a new way, replacing the flawed human, violence-filled response with self-sacrifice. And we are not alone in living our lives, we have the Holy Spirit in us, to steer and to guide.
Holy Spirit, infuse our lives with your ultimate love.