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For Who Can....and Be Guiltless?

“Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17). “Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless? David said furthermore, as the Lord liveth, the Lord shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. The Lord forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the Lord’s anointed:” (1Sam. 26:9b-11a).

Because of Saul’s disobedience against the Lord and his jealously against David, Saul did everything to rid himself of David. The great love and favour he had for David was now equalled by deep hatred and a plot to take his life. Again and again David had the opportunity to avenge himself of Saul, but, instead, he spared Saul’s life. David would not destroy Saul because he regarded him as “the Lord’s anointed.”

As a man after God’s own heart David new what was good, he knew the Law and obeyed it. “To me (God) belongeth vengence, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste” (Deuteronomy 32:35).

The Old Testament principle of justice was eye for eye (Ex. 21:24). Saul tried to take David’s life so why wouldn’t David take Saul’s? David exhibited a classic example of the New Testament principle of justice, “avenge not yourselves” (Romans 12:19). David said to Saul, “The Lord judge between me and thee, and the Lord avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee” (1Sam. 24:12-13).

David’s was a case of attempted murder on his life; what is our case today? What would nourish a root of bitterness in us? How little or great the stumbling block or occasion that determines if brotherly love will continue? Can we be too wise in our own conceits (Romans 12:16), too proud to let love be without dissimulation, that is, without hypocrisy?

“Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled” (Hebrews 12:12 and 15). We can understand how a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump (1 Corinthians 5:6). “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Corinthians 15:34).

We will mock or fail the grace of God when we stretch forth our hand or say things not of God against the Lord’s anointed whether they are weak or strong. Every child of God is the Lord’s anointed. “Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God” (2 Corinthians 1:21).

I believe we can see an analogy between the Old Testament physically and the New Testament spiritually, whatever the case, we need to remember no one can stretch forth his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless.

Robert Crane

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