30 June 2020

Proverbs 11:21

Be sure of this: the wicked will not go unpunished,
    but those who are righteous will go free.

While watching a sporting event, such as a basketball or football game, you will usually notice a coach get extremely angry, sometimes for no apparent reason. He screams at the officials. His assistants may have to hold him back. Why is he so angry? He sees what he perceives to be cheating by the other team; that’s bad enough; but what pushes him over the edge is that he can’t get the officials to see the cheating and punish it. “They are getting away with it!”

What especially gets our anger is the perceived injustice that involves us. The driver who cuts in front of us; the co-worker getting away with being a slacker or advancing through cheating; the fellow student who gets a better grade because he cheated, and so on. “They are getting away with it!”

No, they are not. God sees all, and God will reward each person for what he has done. We might see the punishment come; we might not. Quite likely the punishment or reward will not be what we expect because we do not judge rightly. We also are sinners; we also commit the same sins in different forms. Our sense of justice is influenced more by how we are affected. That’s why we can read of a murder taking place without a tinge of emotion if we know none of the parties, but we will become outraged because a company made a mistake on our bill.

Be assured. Be contented. Evil will not go unpunished. No one is getting away with anything. The righteous will not only be delivered, but their offspring as well. God is in control. What we need to do is trust God. Our concern is to be obedient to his laws and not let the evil of others unduly influence us. How else could Jesus go calmly to the cross, except that he entrusted himself into his Father’s hands knowing that justice, not evil, would prevail?

1 Samuel 19

19 Saul told his son Jonathan and all the attendants to kill David. But Jonathan had taken a great liking to David and warned him, ‘My father Saul is looking for a chance to kill you. Be on your guard tomorrow morning; go into hiding and stay there. I will go out and stand with my father in the field where you are. I’ll speak to him about you and will tell you what I find out.’

Jonathan spoke well of David to Saul his father and said to him, ‘Let not the king do wrong to his servant David; he has not wronged you, and what he has done has benefited you greatly. He took his life in his hands when he killed the Philistine. The Lord won a great victory for all Israel, and you saw it and were glad. Why then would you do wrong to an innocent man like David by killing him for no reason?’

Saul listened to Jonathan and took this oath: ‘As surely as the Lord lives, David will not be put to death.’

So Jonathan called David and told him the whole conversation. He brought him to Saul, and David was with Saul as before.

Once more war broke out, and David went out and fought the Philistines. He struck them with such force that they fled before him.

But an evil spirit from the Lord came on Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the lyre, 10 Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

11 Saul sent men to David’s house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David’s wife, warned him, ‘If you don’t run for your life tonight, tomorrow you’ll be killed.’ 12 So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped. 13 Then Michal took an idol and laid it on the bed, covering it with a garment and putting some goats’ hair at the head.

14 When Saul sent the men to capture David, Michal said, ‘He is ill.’

15 Then Saul sent the men back to see David and told them, ‘Bring him up to me in his bed so that I may kill him.’ 16 But when the men entered, there was the idol in the bed, and at the head was some goats’ hair.

17 Saul said to Michal, ‘Why did you deceive me like this and send my enemy away so that he escaped?’

Michal told him, ‘He said to me, “Let me get away. Why should I kill you?”’

18 When David had fled and made his escape, he went to Samuel at Ramah and told him all that Saul had done to him. Then he and Samuel went to Naioth and stayed there. 19 Word came to Saul: ‘David is in Naioth at Ramah’; 20 so he sent men to capture him. But when they saw a group of prophets prophesying, with Samuel standing there as their leader, the Spirit of God came on Saul’s men, and they also prophesied. 21 Saul was told about it, and he sent more men, and they prophesied too. Saul sent men a third time, and they also prophesied. 22 Finally, he himself left for Ramah and went to the great cistern at Seku. And he asked, ‘Where are Samuel and David?’

‘Over in Naioth at Ramah,’ they said.

23 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even on him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. 24 He stripped off his garments, and he too prophesied in Samuel’s presence. He lay naked all that day and all that night. This is why people say, ‘Is Saul also among the prophets?’