Read 1 Samuel 24
Overcome Evil With Good
The New Testament gives us many principles by which we should live. Paul wrote in Romans 12:17-21, “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,’ says the Lord. Therefore, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
These are wise words and pure principles, but surely no one expects us to actually live by them, do they? There are no examples of these words in action, are there? When one examines the life of David, we see a brilliant example of these inspired commands. “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
King Saul is in hot pursuit of his rival, David, the son of Jesse. David and his men run to the Wilderness of En Gedi, on the Rocks of the Wild Goats, hiding out in a cave. Saul enters the cave to relieve himself, not realizing David is in the cave. The men encourage David to claim his victory over Saul, saying, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you’” (1 Samuel 24:4). But David refused to take the king’s life, saying, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord” (1 Samuel 24:6).
Instead, he cut off a piece of Saul’s robe and later confronts him, asking his father-in-law why he set on killing him. He shows Saul the corner of his robe that he had cut off, proving that he had the opportunity to kill the king but refused to take it.
If this is not an example of heaping coals of fire on the head of your enemy through kindness, what is? How did Saul respond? He said, “Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day” (1 Samuel 24:19).
The next time you have the opportunity to do something good for an enemy in this life, take it!