Rest and Not Retaliate
But You, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, and the One who lifts up my head. I cry aloud to the LORD, and He answers me from His holy mountain. Selah. I lie down and sleep; I wake again because the LORD sustains me. I am not afraid of the thousands of people who have taken their stand against me on every side.
David was not intimidated by the large crowd that threatened to overtake his throne. His own son, Absalom, retaliated against him for the improper handling of the rape of his sister. David knew God had made a covenant with him and had placed him on the throne. If God put him there, no man, crowd, or angry mob could remove him. God would be a shield around him to protect His purpose and bring glory to what He had established. God is a jealous God who does not share His glory with another. To try to steal it would bring imminent disaster. Surely, those who plotted against David did not know with Whom they were truly fighting!
No doubt, David was hurt by what happened. He was betrayed by his own son and by his own people. He did not desire a war with his son, whom he truly loved. Instead of retaliating, David chose to surrender his pain to the One who had the power to overcome his emotions and lift his head in victory over his feelings. He knew enough to cry out loud to God and that God would answer. His faith was in God and not his own power, authority, or position.
Notice the Selah between the verses. It is a musical pause. David cried out to God and paused for Him to respond. He rested in knowing that the battle belonged to the LORD and not to him. He chose not to worry, plot, scheme, or retaliate. He simply went about the business God gave him and rested in knowing that if God placed him on the throne, He would sustain him.
The same is true for us. God saved us by His grace, and He will sustain us by His grace wherever He has placed us in life. We don’t have to worry about someone else stealing our position or taking what is rightfully ours. Turn it over to God and rest. Let Him fight your battle for you because it is really a threat against what He has already established. If he established it, He can surely sustain it!
As for Absalom, he suffered a tragic accident when the mule he was riding ran under the tangled branches of a large oak tree, and his long curly locks – a source of vanity and symbol of strength – fell prey to the hooks of the closely knit branches while the mule kept running out from under him. The commander of David’s army went against David’s instructions and killed Absalom. Those who had abandoned David turned back, and David mourned the death of his son. God kept His promise. David kept the throne, but Solomon would rightfully inherit the kingdom.
Outright rebellion will cost in the long run. How tragic that Absalom could not learn from his father’s good example. His mistake came from trying to retaliate against David’s bad example as a father. Revenge cost Absalom rightful inheritance of the throne, relationship with his father, and his life. When facing hurt or disappointment, crying out to God and resting is always our best move while leaving revenge to God.
Today, determine to cry aloud to God regarding the things that threaten or hurt you. Know that retaliation and revenge are never answers from God. Rest in knowing that He has heard your cry, and let Him fight the battle for you. He knows how to shut the mouths of your enemies and to sustain that which He has established. Trust Him and rest.
Have a blessed day!