Journal Entry // July 26, 2022
Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from working salvation with my own hand! (ESV)1 Samuel 25:33
Here we see one of the more important aspects of David’s character on display. David was named as a man after God’s own heart and I often misunderstand what this really means. David’s heart was humble before the Lord. What I mean by that is that David didn’t always make the right decision or choose the path of righteousness, but the one thing he did very well was listen to the counsel of God. In this particular case, David was offended by the way Nabal had treated his representatives and himself by extension. David’s pride was wounded and he was embarrassed before his band of brothers. In his wounded pride, he had decided to strike out against Nabal and slaughter all the males in his company. David’s wounded pride was taking revenge to a stark level. David had let his outward appearance before the men lead him to make a decision that was steeped in bloodguilt.
I too see this in my own heart. I don’t physically take my revenge on someone who has hurt me by declaring that I will wipe out all the men in their family, but there is a bit of this active in my heart. I will let the hurt and pain caused by others to seep into my heart and fester there. I will let it grow and mature in its hurt and anger. My anger becomes more self-righteous every day leading me to hate the offender. Hate them to the point where Jesus tells me that I have murdered them in my heart. And truly that’s what it becomes. My wounded pride will seek its own retribution by striking out against the perceived enemy. My pride will always lead me astray.
The Lord is kind though and will bring truth to bear upon me when my pride begins to rage. David received a petition from Abigail to relent from this anger and bloodguilt and trust in the Lord. In his humility, David saw the error of his revenge and listened to the words of Abigail. David’s heart was soft. He recognized the sin that was brought into focus through this message from the Lord and he responded in humility and righteousness. This soft heart of David is sensitive to the rebuke of God and quick to repent from his error. David’s greatest attribute was a humble heart that understood that the Lord God is the holy and righteous One.
I too want to work salvation with my own hand. I want to correct any perceived adversity or trouble or negativity. I want to rise up in anger when someone does wrong or harm to me. I want to assert my own authority and let people know that I am not weak. My pride wants to be on display and assure me that I am still in control. This is not the way of Jesus though. Meekness and humility is the path our Lord walked. More than that, humility is the identifying mark of Jesus. As Paul tells us in Philippians, we are to have the mind of Christ and this mind is one of humility. I need the humility of Jesus to pervade my life. I need humility to be the root cause in my heart and mind. I need humility to be the driver of all that I do in this world. Humility from Jesus. Humility in Jesus. Humility for Jesus.
Father, I know that you have been working diligently in my life to tear away every last remnant of pride in my heart. It is a long and arduous process. There is a lot of pride still lingering in my heart. This is a hard lesson to learn, but it is an important one. My pride wants to drive me toward independence from You. My pride wants me to work my own salvation in my own strength. Lord, forgive me for acting this way. Forgive me for seeking my own ways in my own strength. Draw close to me dear Jesus. Draw ever closer to me each and every day. Teach me to focus my eyes solely on Jesus and Him alone. That in humility, I will learn obedience and demonstrate my love for Him.