December 18, Saturday

REPOSTToday’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Charles Choe who leads Tapestry Church in Los Angeles, was first posted on April 1, 2015.  Charles is a graduate of University of California, Riverside (BA) and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.).

Spiritual Food for Thought the Weekend

“Are You Kind . . . to the Person Whom You Dislike?”

2 Samuel 1:11-12

“Then David took hold of his clothes and tore them, and so did all the men who were with him. And they mourned and wept and fasted until evening for Saul and for Jonathan his son and for the people of the LORD and for the house of Israel, because they had fallen by the sword.” 

 A few years ago, Meghan Vogel, as junior runner for West Liberty-Salem High School (Ohio), won the 1,600-meter title for her state.  While it was an outstanding accomplishment, what she did in her next race was most extraordinary. With about 20 meters to go in that race, a runner in front of Vogel collapsed.  Rather than run past her, Vogel, after helping her to get up, carried her across the finish line while keeping that runner ahead of her the whole time. “Any girl on the track would have done the same for me,” Vogel said. But her action resonated with the thousands of onlookers who witnessed it.

When David heard the news of Saul’s death from an Amalekite, David saw that he was an opportunist.  By turning in King Saul’s crown and a bracelet, the Amalekite, assuming that he was doing David a favor, expected a great deal in return from him.  But to his surprise, the last thing on David’s mind was to celebrate the death of the Lord’s anointed.

From a human perspective, Saul’s death should have been an opportunity for David, but that was not the way he saw it. He neither rejoiced nor celebrated; instead, he grieved over Saul’s death.  David was not interested in his own vindication or triumph at the cost of another person’s tragedy.  In fact, this is why David was so unique as a king, and the one God honored among all other kings of Israel. 

David, then, wrote a beautiful eulogy for Saul in which he encouraged future generations to think of what King Saul had done for Israel (v. 18).  He kindly considered Saul as the anointed of God who fought valiantly, swifter than eagles, and stronger than lions (v. 23).  He even said that Saul was loved and gracious.  Of course, we know Saul was anything but gracious or pleasant to David, but he chose to view Saul’s legacy as a whole and not with a grudge. 

Are you kind to your competitors? Do you wish them well or do you secretly seek their demise? How do you treat those who are after the same grade or promotion as you? How about those who try to get ahead of you by soiling your reputation? The Bible tells us that love is kind and does not keep a record of wrong. David was truly a great king. He became a king after God’s heart through his magnanimous heart towards others, especially those who did not deserve it. In that way, he was very much like the One who was his true King, the God of Israel. 

Prayer: Lord, beginning today, help me to “treat everyone [I] meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. [Help me to] extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding [I] can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. I pray that [my] life will never be the same again.” Amen.  (Og Mandino)

Bible Reading for Today: Romans 14-15

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