I suppose Saul felt threatened. People were making songs about David being better than he was. He was moody and unpredictable, Saul. One moment listening to harp music, the next throwing a spear at David’s head. One moment sending men out to kill David in his sleep. Another moment wondering why David was not at (Saul’s) table celebrating. But hatred, jealousy, insecurity, grudge–they don’t go away so easily.
Contrasted with the New Testament story of the Parable of the Lost Son: the young son takes his share of inheritance before his father is even dead and goes off to squander it. The son is eventually penniless. He probably had some time to think on his actions, at the very least, he had time to feel regret and hunger pangs as he eyed up the pigs’ portion. He returns home, humbled and repentant. He is received with mercy and forgiveness–and likely to his great surprise, welcomed with a party and fattened calf.
In one story–it’s hard to pinpoint what the offense had been. Hadn’t David just been all that he was created to be? Himself? And in another story, someone on purpose takes and wastes (a relationship, a fortune). In both stories, someone has been wronged to whatever extent. Saul, filled with contempt over competition. A father, reduced to a dollar amount and cast aside.
I know I’ve been an offender. And I know I’ve been offended. I know what it feels like to be unforgiven. And I know what it feels like to struggle with forgiving.
One day, I stood beside a betrayer, my mind void of any plan or thought, and I said to God, “I don’t even know what grace is anymore.” The Lord infused me with a love that took me over and off guard, and I hugged (them). It was as though he said, “This is grace.”
God is bigger than my hurt. He is bigger than my struggle. He is bigger than any brokenness in me or my life. My strength is in him.
Lord, you are good and your grace, your grace, it overwhelms me. I am humbled and my heart repents. Rid it of any remnants that keep me from loving another. You are bigger than anything I face; your strength dwarfs mine (and thankfully so!). Thank you for your great love.