Transformation Garden - May. 6, 2011

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“And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baalhazor, which is beside Ephraim and Absalom invited all the king’s sons…But Absalom pressed (David), that he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, ‘Mark ye now when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? Be courageous, and be valiant.’ And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man got him up upon his mule, and fled. And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, “Absalom hath slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left.’”
II Samuel 13: 23-30
King James Version

EXPLORATION

“Revenge and Retaliation”

“How many are the pains of those who hunger for revenge!...They have killed themselves even before they kill their enemies.”
Catherine of Siena

Has there been a time in my life when I became so angry about something that had occurred I decided to take revenge against the person or persons who had hurt me?

How do I view the consequences of revenge in my own interaction with others?

“Everything you do in revenge against a brother who has harmed you will come back to your mind at the time of prayer.”
Nilus

Desert Father

INSPIRATION

“A man (or woman) that studieth revenge keeps his (her) own wounds green.”
Francis Bacon

Absalom had waited a long time. The anger in him had been a boiling cauldron of revenge which was cooking up a huge pot of revenge. Whether Absalom had to wait for two days or two years, it didn’t matter. All he longed for was to “get even.” Amnon, his brother would pay for the rape he committed against Tamar. Absalom would see to it. And so, during the sheepshearing time, when he had the opportunity to separate Amnon from the protective hand of David the King, Absalom put his plan of attack into action by instructing his servants to get Amnon drunk and then kill him. Simple and clean. Absalom didn’t even have to get his hands bloody – his servants would take care of Amnon for him. For Absalom, the thought of making Amnon pay was what he relished. Just recently I found a poem called, “Receiving Retribution” by an unknown author. The words in this poem are indicative of the thinking which propelled Absalom to carry out the destruction of the life of his sibling:

“Last night I had a revelation
Somehow I have to make you pay
It’s all about manipulation
And what it takes to get my way
I don’t believe in soft solutions
No one makes a fool of me
Without receiving retribution
No one hurts me and goes free

I’ll play on your fears. I’ll leave you in tears
You’ll never be the same, my friend
You’re walking a line, it’s a matter of time
You’ll never rest easy again

I’ve got the power to bring you down

I’ve heard it said, to err is human
It’s forgiveness that’s divine
I thought about forgiving you, but
I want revenge. I want what’s mine
I think it’s time to settle scores now
It’s time to set the record straight
You’ll know it’s coming, you won’t know how
Or when, you’ll have to watch and wait

I’ll play on your fears. I’ll leave you in tears
You’ll never be the same, my friend
You’re walking a line, it’s a matter of time
You’ll never rest easy again

I’ve got the power to bring you down

You know, it feels intoxicating
To be intimidating
It’s invigorating
To see you shaking

I’ve got the power to bring you down
You know something you see it coming.
You know I will stop at nothing.”

(Red Delicious)

What we find though, is that Absalom’s violent act, became the source of a huge family breakdown. Fearing for their own lives after seeing what Absalom was capable of doing, all David’s other sons hopped on their mules and took off. You might say, “Who could blame them?” What’s more, a messenger heading to the palace of King David brought a message to the ruler that all his sons had been slaughtered. Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of a series of events that led to more bloodshed within David’s family ranks.

I must concur with the author Mignon McLaughlin who observed that, “Revenge leads to an empty fullness, like eating dirt.” Whether in my own life, or in the lives of others who have thought revenge was their only way of settling the score, there is an unsatisfying emotion that prevails in our lives when we take on the role of judge, jury and executioner.

Even David found out that when others came against him, foisting one personal attack upon his life after another, that trusting God to protect and over rule was the best way to live your life.

For all of us, at the moment when revenge may appear sweet, we would do well to read Psalm 141 (K.J.V.) where David implores God to hear his cry for help. David ends this Psalm with these words, “Mine eyes are unto Thee, O God the Lord: in Thee is my trust; leave not my soul destitute. Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. Let the wicked fall into their own nets, whilst that I withal escape.”

Not long ago, as I was studying the word, “revenge,” I came upon the story of a young girl whose behavior leaves an appropriate lesson for each of us when it comes to taking revenge on another:

“A little girl was making faces at a bulldog. Her mother reprimanded her. ‘Well, he started it.’ said the girl. No doubt the girl was right, for it is no trouble for a bulldog to look ugly. The weakness was in the girl’s conclusion drawn from the dog’s face. The dog was probably innocent, but if not, the girl gained nothing by competing with him in making faces. The person who proceeds on the theory that he must return every ugly face he sees, or every ugly act which is directed toward him, will have a never-ending and profitless job. Hate has injurious effects on the person who resents, so that he is the chief sufferer.” – Telescope.

Before revenge becomes our weapon of choice in the destruction of another, let us never forget that grace and pardon – mercy and forgiveness are our Father’s solution to revenge and retaliation.

“Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. ‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it.’”
Romans 12: 19
The Message Bible

AFFIRMATION

“’Forgive our sins as we forgive,’ You taught us, Lord, to pray; but You alone can grant us grace to live the words we say.’”
Rosamond E. Herklots

“Our insensitivity to the needs of others
O Lord, forgive.
Our prejudice and fear that prevent us from loving,
O Lord, forgive.
The narrowness of our vision and our shrinking from Your demands,
O Lord, forgive.
Our resentment against those who have hurt us,
O Lord, forgive.
Our desire to do Your work in our way,
O Lord, forgive.
Our impatience with those who are different from us,
O Lord, forgive.
Our failure to listen properly to other points of view,
O Lord, forgive.
Our fear of coming out of the fortress of our own souls
into fuller life and deeper love,
O Lord, forgive.”

Source Unknown

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcarcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Dorothy@TransformationGarden.com

P.S. Just to let you know, Transformation Garden is now on FACEBOOK. Please come and see us and share the garden with your friends. The Daily Devotional is posted everyday, Monday through Friday on Facebook, too. 

My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You may also call Transformation Garden at 602-368-1245. 

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

 
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