Daily Comfort

“May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me–but my hand will not touch you.” – 1 Sam 24:12

There are apt to be wrong views about bearing injuries. People ask, “Is there to be no justice in cases like David’s? Must we quietly bear wrong? and must the person who does the wrong never receive any punishment?” Our sense of right is sometimes so outraged, that our soul cries out in remonstrance, when we are told that we never should resent nor resist–but turn the other cheek when one cheek has been smitten. The Bible teaching is that, it is not our part to punish those who wrong us. Our clumsy hands are not skillful enough to adjust such delicate matters.

We are not required to say that a certain person’s treatment of us was right, when it was manifestly wrong–but we are to recognize the truth that the question of justice is God’s matter, not ours; that our part is to be patient and meek, leaving in God’s hands the whole adjustment of right and wrong.

Two Scripture passages help to make this plain: “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.” Romans 12:19. “When reviled, He did not revile in return; when suffering, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to the One who judges justly.” 1 Peter 2:23.

Daily Comfort

“Then David went to Jonathan and asked–What have I done? What is my crime? How have I wronged your father, that he is trying to kill me?” – 1 Sam 20:1

A true friend is a refuge. We all have troubles at some time. For many years we may get along quietly, and without sore trial; but the day will come to all of us–when we shall be in sorrow or danger. It may be in such an experience as David’s, when people shall misjudge us, or become our enemies without cause, and may seek to harm us. It may be sickness that comes upon us, or bereavement, or severe loss of some kind. Whatever the trouble may be, a true friend will prove a great comfort to us in the experience.

It is a blessed thing to have one friend that we are sure of, though all others fail us. We can go to him then as David went to Jonathan, telling him all our heart’s burden. Young people should seek to have a friend older than themselves, to whom they can fly in trouble or in danger, and in whose faithful love they can find a sure and safe refuge. There is a wonderful strength in the confidence that one has such a friend.

“There is a Friend who sticks closer than a brother.” Proverbs 18:24. Christ is the best, strongest, wisest, truest, most helpful friend anyone can have. His friendship is a refuge indeed. We can flee to him in any danger, and find him ready always to comfort, shelter, and bless. However many human friends we may have–we all need Christ.

Daily Comfort

“It is the Lord who judges me!”

– 1 Cor 4:4

There is a story of a young composer whose music was being performed. The audience was enthusiastic, applauding wildly as the composition was played. But the young man seemed utterly indifferent to all this applause. He kept his eye fixed intently on one man in the audience, watching every expression that played upon his features. It was his teacher. He cared more for the slightest mark of favor on his face–than for all the applause of the great company.

Likewise, in all our life we should watch the face of Christ, caring only that he should be pleased. It matters far more what he thinks of our performance, than what all the world besides thinks. If we live to win his approval, we shall not be afraid to have all our deeds laid bare at the last, before the judgment throne.

You who see my soul within,

You who know my unknown sin,

Through your holy eyes let me

Learn what sin is unto Thee.

Make me, Pure One, as you art,

Pure in mind and soul and heart;

Never satisfied with less

Than your perfect holiness.

Comfort

After a while, the stream dried up because there had been no rain in the land.

[1 Kgs 17:7 NET]

That is the way this world’s brooks always do. For a time they flow full; then they begin to waste away, and at last dry up altogether. This is true of all earthly joys. There is a comfort, however, in what comes after the statement made in these words. When the brook dried up, God had another place ready for his servant. “Arise, and go to Zarephath.” There he found other help ready.

It must have been a sore test of Elijah’s faith–to watch the stream growing less and less every day. “What shall I do when the brook is dry?” he would wonder. But we need not suppose that he ever worried about it. He knew that God was providing for him, and would have something else ready when this supply ceased. One morning there was no water running over the stones, and the prophet had to eat a dry breakfast only bread and meat; but still, I think he did not grow anxious. Then after breakfast the Lord came and told him to move.

The lesson is, that we are never to doubt God, no matter how low the supply gets. Though we have come down to the last mouthful of bread–and the last cupful of water, and still see no new provision beyond, we are to take the last morsel with thankfulness, believing that God will have something else ready in time. It will be soon enough if it is ready when we have eaten the last crust!

Comfort

Today your own eyes see how the Lord delivered you – this very day – into my hands in the cave. Some told me to kill you, but I had pity on you and said, ‘I will not extend my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s chosen one.’

[1 Sam 24:10 NET]

David seemed now to have a short, quick way to the kingdom–but he would not dare to take it. Now the throne was Saul’s—he was the Lord’s anointed. David would not lift a finger to hurry God’s providence, and to become king before God made him king. There often are things that God intends to give us–but which we must wait to receive in his way. Short-cuts in life’s paths are always mistakes in the end. Jacob’s mother knew that Jacob was to have the blessing of the firstborn–but if she had waited it would have come to him without being stained, as it was by her own and Jacob’s deception.

Young men are ambitious, and their ambition may be right; but too often they are in such feverish haste to reach what they wish–that they take the shortcut of dishonesty to get the sooner to the coveted place. It never pays.

David could have been on the throne the next day–but he would have left stains of guilt on the steps as he ascended; it was better far for him to wander on in exile for a time longer, and then reach the throne by a clean path. It is pleasant to see young men get on in life; but we must always ask how they have gotten on, to know whether their elevation is really an honor. The only way to true success–is God’s way. We must learn to wait for God.

Comfort

He said to his men, “May the Lord keep me far away from doing such a thing to my lord, who is the Lord’s chosen one, by extending my hand against him. After all, he is the Lord’s chosen one.”

[1 Sam 24:6 NET]

“Would it not be human to resent it?” said one who had received an insult. “Yes,” was the reply, “but it would be godlike to forgive it.” David did the godlike thing. He had a chance to avenge himself. He had his cruel enemy in his power. One stroke, and Saul would never have troubled him any more. David’s life would then have been safe. He would have become king at once. His men were urging it, and he himself was tempted to do it. Yet he overcame the temptation, and allowed Saul to pass out of his hand unharmed. He listened to the voice of God speaking in his own conscience, and restrained the impulse to avenge himself.

The first impulse of a child, when wronged or hurt by another, is to seek revenge. Sometimes older people encourage this evil spirit in children, by telling them to whip the chair or the rocking-horse by which they have chanced to be hurt. In older people, too, the desire for revenge is natural, and can be repressed only by the higher law of love which Christ teaches. The lesson is, that the punishment of sin must be left in God’s hands. Our duty is to bear patiently the wrongs and injuries others may inflict upon us, not giving reviling for reviling, to repay unkindness with kindness, to overcome evil with good.

Comfort

David said to Saul, “Why do you pay attention when men say, ‘David is seeking to do you harm’?

[1 Sam 24:9 NET]

There was someone who in the dark, was stabbing David’s name. It is probable that Saul was made to believe that David was his bitter foe, and was plotting all manner of evil against him. There are people in every community who are slanderers. They go to this one and that one, and drop dark insinuations about some other person, whose shoe’s latchet they are not worthy to unloose. They come to one of two friends, and let fall some hint only that the other is not faithful as a friend, perhaps relating something in a perverted way, so as to leave an impression of faithlessness. “A whisper separates chief friends.” The ruin wrought by the slanderer in this world, cannot be computed, characters blackened, friendships broken up, jealousies aroused, homes destroyed, hearts broken. Slanderous words have measureless power for evil.