WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
DECEMBER 6, 2021
TOPIC: REPAY GOOD FOR EVIL
BY T. O. BANSO
“Then he said to David: You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil’” (1 Samuel 24:17 New King James Version).
More often than not, one hears stories of people repaying evil for good. Victims of such a treatment are so pained to the marrow that some of them wonder if it pays to do good. But as a child of God, you must never think like this. It is bad to repay evil for good and those who do this will one day reap the evil seed they have sown, for whatever anyone sows, that he shall reap (Galatians 6:7). Don’t repay their evil for evil. Don’t try to even the score.
While many will consider it normal to repay good for good, not a few will consider it strange to repay good for evil. But what is regarded as strange is a godly thing to do. A child of God who repays good for evil is emulating God, his Father.
Jesus says, “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet your brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 5:44-48 New King James Version).
Nevertheless, it is not easy for the natural man to repay good for evil. Indeed, it may be impossible because the natural man wants to seek revenge. He wants to pay the other person back in his own coin. But the Word of God says we should not seek revenge. It takes someone being controlled by the Holy Spirit to repay good for evil and not to repay evil for evil.
God says vengeance is His and recompense (Deuteronomy 32:35a). Also, Romans 12:19b and Hebrews 10:30a quote the Lord as saying, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (New King James Version). God told the Israelites, “You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 19:18 New King James Version).
Also in Exodus 23:4-5, God told the Israelites, “If you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall surely bring it back to him again. If you see the donkey of one who hates you lying under its burden, and you would refrain from helping it, you shall surely help him with it” (New King James Version). The Israelites were not to repay evil with evil but evil with good.
King Saul repaid David’s good deed with evil. David saved him from a national embarrassment by helping him and the nation of Israel to kill Goliath, the Philistines champion, but Saul repaid him with the plots to kill him. The natural thing was for David to kill Saul at the earliest opportunity and repay his evil with evil. But David didn’t do that. He acted in a godly manner. Two times, he had the opportunity to kill Saul but he restrained his men from killing him because Saul was the LORD’s anointed.
The first time that David spared Saul’s life, he told Saul, “Let the LORD judge between you and me, and let the LORD avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.’ But my hand shall not be against you. After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea? Therefore let the LORD be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand” (1 Samuel 24:12-15 New King James Version).
After David had finished speaking, Saul responded to David, lifting up his voice and weeping. “Then he said to David: You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil’” (1 Samuel 24:17 New King James Version). The New Living Translation says, “And he said to David, ‘You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil.’” Did you see that? He wouldn’t have been alive to judge himself if David had killed him. David got so close to Saul to kill him that he was able to secretly cut off a corner of his robe (1 Samuel 24:4b). But he spared him. Nevertheless, this narrow escape didn’t make Saul genuinely repent. He continued to seek how to kill David.
After David had spoken to Saul the second time that he spared his life because he was the LORD’s anointed, Saul condemned himself with his own mouth. “Then Saul said, ‘I have sinned. Return, my son David. For I will harm you no more, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Indeed I have played the fool and erred exceedingly’” (1 Samuel 26:21 New King James Version).
Saul repaid good with evil but David repaid evil with good. But Saul didn’t succeed in killing David until he died in the battle with the Philistines. Don’t emulate Saul; emulate David. It could be very painful repaying evil with good for evil but obey God, not the flesh. He will reward your obedience. Others may consider you a fool but remember that the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men (1 Corinthians 1:25).
David said in Psalm 109:4-5, “In return for my love they are my accusers, but I give myself to prayer. Thus they have rewarded me evil for good, and hatred for my love” (New King James Version). This is the right attitude a child of God should cultivate.
Hear Jesus’ teaching: “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:27-31 New King James Version). This teaching is counter-cultural. How can anyone obey this teaching without the help of the Holy Spirit? We all need to ask for His help.
After the death of Jacob, Joseph’s brothers were afraid that he might seek revenge for the evil they did to him in the past, selling him into slavery. Therefore, they came to him and begged for forgiveness and submitted themselves to him as his servants. Joseph had all the power to punish them being the Governor of Egypt but he repaid evil with good.
He told his brothers, “‘Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.’ And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them” (Genesis 50:19-21 New King James Version).
In Luke 9:51-56, James and John sought the permission of Jesus to command fire to come down from heaven and consume the Samaritans who did not welcome Jesus because He was set on travelling to Jerusalem. But Jesus rebuked these disciples, saying that they did not know what kind of spirit they were of. He said He did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them. Jesus didn’t repay evil with evil. He went with His disciples to another village.
Learn from Jesus Christ. He repaid good for evil. He didn’t call down fire on those who rejected Him. He didn’t curse those who conspired to kill Him or insult those who mocked Him on the cross. Jesus simply said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34a New King James Version). Emulate Jesus. Repay good for evil.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, forgive me for my past actions of repaying evil for evil or evil for good. Holy Spirit, help me to always repay good for evil. Let me not be controlled by the sinful nature to seek revenge. Holy Spirit, help all those with vengeful spirit to repent and walk in love and forgiveness henceforth in Jesus’ name.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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