Read – 1 Samuel 22
Focus on verse 17
When our boys were younger there would periodically be disagreements, which occasionally would escalate into what one might call a fight. Typically, when it escalated to the point of violence we would make a parental intervention of some kind to prevent any permanent damage if possible. I found it interesting how it was always the other brothers fault. One of the the ways I would explain to them that they could stop the fighting was that I would tell them that it only takes one of them to stop hitting back and the hitting would likely stop. The problem typically was that they both wanted to be the one who had the last shot, or at least the last word if they could not land the last punch.
In today’s reading Saul’s struggle to retain the kingdom for his family has turned into an all out civil war in an attempt to destroy David and anyone who supported him.
<blockquote>Then the king ordered the guards at his side: “Turn and kill the priests of the Lord, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me.” (v. 17)</blockquote>
It would seem this was the way it was done in that day, anyone whom Saul suspects of conspiring with David is put to death. This was no doubt the reason all of David’s family fled to join him at the cave of Adullam, as Saul would have soon been at their doorstep to put them all to death as well. Interestingly David does not use the same strategy. He rather collects all the discontented down and outers who feel that the system has been stacked against them.
The way things were done then and the way they are done now may not be all that different. Those in power today still tend to favor those who are close to them and reward those who protect them and keep them in power. There are also those who operate more like David, hiding in the shadows, rallying the people who feel the establishment will never give them a fair chance. So in some ways the clan wars continue to go on – though the rules might have changed some, and the way people go about destroying each other may seem a little more civilized, the result is pretty much the same.
There is one exception that changes all the rules and brings an end to the ongoing clan wars. A clan war requires two opposing sides that continue to up the ante every time there is an exchange. When Christ becomes the Lord of one or the other or both, the war is shut down as they choose to forgive rather than retaliating. The war can not continue when one or both sides refuse to fight back.