Honor in the Cave

cave
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Every new year or season I see some people posting about this new trend in Churchisms. I’ve seen it so many times and I often wonder where and why we allow that mindset to come in to our hearts. Sometimes it is also preached from the pulpit and the congregation responds with an agreeing “Amen”. The basis of the churchism is that you can’t take everyone with you in your next season, or some people you have to leave behind for elevation. I will not argue on whether or not this “ideal” is true but let’s just explore it for a little.

As a Christian, my world view is shaped by the word of God. Sometimes I fall short and immediately I repent. But how I feel about people, life, and myself is informed by the Word of God. I believe this should be the same for all “Christians”. I do understand that the title “ Christian” is thrown about very recklessly, but that deserves its own discussion. So let’s define a Christian as someone who follows Christ. Who believes in the word of God and desires to walk and live like Jesus. People who want to imitate Christ in life -carrying their cross, in love- carrying their cross and in death to eternal life. 

The Bible provides us with a lot of examples about human relationship, because let’s face it we NEED PEOPLE. I’ve heard my fellow believers say things and my response is  “people are not dispensable”. We can’t just pick them up and throw them away when they are no longer “useful” to us. I am not saying that I haven’t made the mistake of thinking people are dispensable but I know better now. The Holy Spirit continues to show me that even people that are difficult to love are purposed in our lives. God in all of His magnificence does nothing by chance even the people we encounter. However, it is up to us to find out the purpose of these relationships

Let’s first examine the relationship between David and Saul. It was the encounter he had with Saul in the cave that sparked  this post(1 Samuel 24). David is running from Saul, because Saul seeks to kill him. I wrote another post about Saul and David’s relationship you can check it out here. Saul was determined to kill David. David and his men were hiding in a cave when Saul comes in. David’s men encourage him to kill Saul, “ Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish” [1 Sam 24:4]. This is the counsel of his friends, men that are loyal to him and have been running with him. Instead of killing Saul, David crept towards him and cut the hem of Saul’s robe. In that moment David was convicted for what he did…. David told his men “ The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him(1 Sam 24:6).” David prevented his men from killing Saul. He walked out of the cave, called Saul “My lord and king” and bowed before him… David the guiltless man on the  run spared the life of his enemy. He humbly surrendered himself giving Saul the honor that a king deserves. David explains to Saul that “he would never harm the king-he is the Lord’s anointed one”. David then  explains to Saul that “he cut off a piece of his robe but he didn’t kill him. This proves that I am not  trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me.”

In the world’s perspective this sounds like the worst revenge story ever. Why didn’t David kill Saul? At this point the Lord already ripped the kingdom from Saul and anointed David as king. Killing Saul would have solved all of David’s problem; he could have taken his rightful seat as king. But instead David showed Saul an undeserved kindness.  

We should also desire and act towards showing others undeserved kindness.  

If I was in the cave would I have listened to my friends and killed the man that was making my life a living hell? Honestly, I don’t know. But what I do know is that David understood something that I think some of us fail to see. David feared the Lord. He knew that Saul was chosen by God and He could not kill him.  David’s friends wanted Saul dead because this would solve all of their problems. It was a quick fix but if he killed the king David could never profess his innocence.  

I think that the conviction David had in the cave was that he saw the bigger picture. 

This occurrence teaches me that even people who mean us harm are an opportunity for God to see our heart. David was a warrior who had killed thousands of people, this would have been an easy kill. But as he said “I will not harm the Lord’s anointed”. It was the Lord’s hand on Saul that saved his life. David reverenced the Lord to the point where he was willing to keep running for his life.

I know that in today’s society the churchism of everyone can’t come to the next level with you isn’t about killing people. But the danger of this mindset is that people are quick to cut others off when they are no longer serving them. I do not think this is the example the Bible sets. We see the total opposite in the cave with David and Saul. Even after all Saul did to David, he still bowed before him and called him king. This was not lip service but great respect. Why? Because he had a revelation that God anointed Saul. 

God  created each and every one of us in His image. When we see others as dispensable what revelation do we have of God?  We know that sin has corrupted the human race but through Christ Jesus we all have the capacity to be like Him; through the Holy Spirit we have the counsel to love like Him.  If David could love Saul, why can’t we love.  I am not saying that we should remain in toxic relationships but I do believe that we can be refined through every experience. 

Jesus showed us that not even the man who would lead His accusers to Him is dispensable. He kept Judas with Him for three whole years. He was never treated or loved any differently. Why? God trusted His Father and He knew that even though satan would enter Judas, it wasn’t satan’s will that would be accomplished but God’s divine will. The same with Peter, the man who denied Jesus multiple times. It was this same man that was a great apostle after Jesus’ glorification. Love covers a multitude of sins. People may not be good to us but as Christians we should be good to them. The way we treat them is not because of how they treat us but because of who saved us. We are to show them the same underserved kindness that we receive! While I understand that people change and some relationships fall apart the bible tells us that in as much as we can control it we should live at peace with all men. If it’s in my power to keep peace, I should. 

People are not dispensable. We don’t have to worry about the “right” people being in our lives if we fully submit to God’s will and the path He has laid before us. Why? Because we will be positioned for Him to put them in our lives and for Him to remove those that aren’t supposed to be there. For example, the instigating friends with David in the cave were warriors but in that moment that’s not what David needed. But down the line David needed those same friends to fight by his side. David could have said, you friends cannot be in my next season with me I have to leave you behind. When the time came to fight David would have been alone. But David, feared the Lord and was instructed by the Lord. This allowed him to provide wise counsel to his friends.

Let’s position ourselves in God’s will so that He can align us with the right people at the right seasons. Where He can connect us with people that will sharpen us, invoke us to love, stir up the gifts in us and help to refine us even if that person sees us as their enemy. I pray He opens our eyes to see that even those who are used by satan are in the hands of God to bring forth His glory in and through us.

The miracle that happened in the Cave was that David loved God so much that He could not dishonor Him by harming someone He chose. God has chosen each of us, let us be careful of how we treat each other.

And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. Ecclesiastes 4:12 NASB

You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. John 15:16 NLT

 

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