Lessons From The Wilderness (Dealing With Anger And Retaliation)

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Series: Body of Christ, Relationships

Sun am 26 August 2012 – Kobus Swart

1 Sam. 24: 2-17; 1 Sam. 26:1-10; (Rom. 8:14); (Matt. 13:37-38); (Matt. 4:3). (Heb. 4:15);

(Ps. 7:1; Ps. 11:1; Ps. 14:6; Ps. 16:1; Ps. 18:2; Ps. 25:20; Ps. 31:1); (Ps. 121:1); (Matt. 18:21-22)

We are moving away from all the religious ideas we had of what spirituality means.

The story of David and Goliath highlights the difference between the religious and the spiritual approach – even in warfare. There are two mind-sets; that of religion and that of the spiritual man. Saul brought the heavy armour to protect him from the giant. David tried it on and realized it was not going to work, so he took it off. He went to the stream and picked five smooth stones and he used a little sling shot to kill that Nephilim giant Goliath. 

David probably represents the key figure in the royal seed line from the Old Testament to the birth of Jesus. There are two seed lines running right through the Bible all the way to the book of Revelation; the sons of the Kingdom and the sons of the evil one (Matt. 13:37-38).

There are three major wilderness stories in the Bible, all of them critically important for every believer that is on a spiritual journey. The first wilderness was when Israel left Egypt under Moses, for forty years. All the lessons God taught them and how a whole generation had to die out because of unbelief while they could have entered the land in eleven days. Then there is the story of Jesus who, before He was officially launched into ministry, went into a forty day wilderness experience, where He was tempted (Cf Heb. 4:15). Even in the days of Moses, the wilderness was a place of temptation. This is where your integrity is tested; who you are on the inside. I believe that tests will come to every believer, and the temptation will not be easy to overcome unless you truly know who you are and hold your ground.

In the middle of those two wildernesses we find David. He had several wilderness encounters and experiences; most of the time being hunted like a wild dog. Saul wanted to destroy him. His very humanity was profaned. David was forced to choose between a life of blasphemy and a life of prayer. What you must understand is that the choice is yours. In that same wilderness, David chose a life of prayer. When we say, “prayer” all sorts of religious connotations come to mind. What is prayer? How did David pray? David connected with God. He was blatantly honest with God about his feelings but somehow his heart always stayed right with God. Be human, be earthy; that can be your most spiritual expression.

David danced, prayed, praised, sinned, became angry, but knew how to repent! He blatantly let everything hang out. Although he was very earthy, he never became vulgar. The quickest way for God to heal you is when you are open to Him.

For David the wilderness became the dictionary in which he found the meaning of the word “refuge”. If you have never been in your own wilderness you will not understand the meaning of the word “refuge”. David said, “My refuge is in You Lord” (Ps. 7:1; Ps. 11:1; Ps. 14:6; Ps. 16:1; Ps. 18:2; Ps. 25:20; Ps. 31:1). “I lift my eyes to the mountains from where does my help come?” (Ps. 121:1). This was a man praying in the wilderness.

When we go through these extreme tests, personally, corporately, as a household, I believe this word is extremely relevant for us right now. Saul was given into the hands of David on two occasions. David could have said it was God helping him to destroy his enemy. If you try to define your own wilderness, a person or persons always feature; people that you resent, or people who you blame for the circumstances in your life. If you dig deep enough you will find some kind of anger brewing. David had no problem defining that person; it was Saul.

Even when Saul was in his hand, and his friends suggested that it was from God, David refused to retaliate. “ Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord’s anointed.” David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, left the cave, and went on his way (1 Sam. 24:4-7).

All of us have been at the place where we feel it is time to retaliate or to act based on anger. Whoever the person may have been that contributed to your difficult time, there is a time in which God will deal with that person; you do not do it. May the Lord help us never to act by way of retaliation because of anger. Choose the way that David chose. Run to God, trust Him; bless your enemy, pray for him; don’t kill him, not even psychologically. Follow the pattern that we find in this son of the Kingdom; this man who became King, who ruled with compassion and with grace, but with authority. Every son and daughter in the Kingdom must take these lessons to heart.

The wilderness in itself makes nothing happen; it is your reaction to the wilderness that will determine the way forward. Don’t be passive when you are in a wilderness of sorts, you must make a choice how you will respond. You must say “no” to the temptations of the enemy, and even to the “good advice” of good brothers. Follow this pattern. The Kingdom of God is producing sons and daughters in this season at an alarming rate, through certain experiences such as tough times and things don’t seem to go well. Find your refuge in God! Get your spirit right. Saul and Jonathan died at their own swords; David had nothing to do with it. Release, forgive! Forgiveness will dissipate the pressure that may build up in your spirit. Jesus said forgive, seventy times seven (Matt. 18:21-22). The longer unforgiveness remains, the harder it becomes to get rid of it. You must have no resentment, no wish for the person to have a bad experience or accident. There is a boomerang principle, you throw a thing and it comes right back at you. Free yourself. Act on this word.