We had a lengthy discussion yesterday morning on this topic before starting home school. How can we step back and let God be the judge for one another without seeking revenge or trying to force someone to do what we think is right?
A practical application our kids came up with at the end of our discussion is to just remind one another once to do what is right, and then let that person choose what he or she will do. Allow the sibling to face the consequences of the right or wrong choice, and to focus instead on making one's own right choices.
We are responsible for ourselves and for how we respond to others. We are not responsible for others' choices.
This morning we were challenged by David's almost slip in taking revenge on Nabal in 1 Samuel 25. The wise and quick-acting Abigail "was sent by God" (v. 32) to keep David from killing her husband and thus spilling needless blood. When God later struck Nabal dead, David praised Him for paying Nabal back for his sin and for keeping David from doing it himself. (v. 39)
David also chose to let God judge Saul for his actions and refused to kill him when he had two golden opporutnities. Saul was repentant and humbled by David's actions, crying out "You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil." (1 Samuel 24:17)
Years later, when David's son Absalom tried to take the throne from him and David was forced to flee Jerusalem, Shimei cam out to curse and throw rocks at David (2 Samuel 16). David's companions were disgusted and asked for permission to cut off Shimei's head. David responded, "No! What am I going to do with you sons of Zuriah! If the LORD has told him to curse me, who am I to stop him?" (v. 10) David's attitude there toward being cursed is truly amazing to me!
I love the gracious way Abigail spoke words of truth to David, reminding him that "Even when you are chased by those who seek your life you are safe in the care of the LORD your God, secure in his treasure pouch!" (1 Samuel 25: 29)
When we know we are safe and secure in God's treasure pouch, we don't have to try to be the judge for others. We can rest in God's perfect justice for ourselves and for those who seek to harm us.
God's justice and timing are perfect when we don't get in the way.