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To Spare.

This morning Eli slept until 10:20.  A record. Sure he was up until 11 last night, but the fact that the small ounce of sun that trickled through the blackout curtains did not bother him is a miracle :).

Unlike him, I awoke this morning delighted. Delighted because for once this summer, I woke up before him. I immediately got in the word and just rested with my coffee, with the quiet of the house, and with the presence of my King resting with me. After some much needed journalling and sitting quiet before his throne, I approached the Word.

I've been reading in 1 Samuel about David and Saul.  I'm in chapter 24 today. David has run many times to get away from Saul.  At this specific moment in the Word, David has taken refuge in a cave in the Desert of En Gedi. Saul, in pursuit of David, came to the same cave without realizing David and his men were in there. He went in alone and David had an opportunity to kill him.  His men even said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish'" (vs. 4). David approached Saul's robe and cut a corner off, then he was stunned at what he did. He refused to do more and went back to his men even rebuking what they told him.

As Saul left the cave, David came out and called to him. He spoke a little and then said, "And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you" (vs 13). Saul came back and said, "You are more righteous than I" (vs. 17). He continues, "When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today" (vs. 19). They separated and went on their way.

This morning I'm just stunned by this.  Stunned that this man, who has fled and fled and fled from his enemy could still stand before him and spare his life.


I love that word.

--to refrain from harming or destroying; leave uninjured; forbear to punish, hurt, or destroy.
--to deal gently or leniently with: show consideration for.
--to save from strain, discomfort, embarrassment.

To spare someone is not just about refraining from destroying them. It's also about dealing gently with someone or saving them from embarrassment.

David spared Saul. His enemy.

He spared his life. He spared him from embarrassment. He spared him from an uncomfortable situation. He spared him from any harm whatsoever. And he claimed that the LORD would bring justice.

I'm thinking this morning at all the times I have been embarrassed or uncomfortable or hurt. Many times in the opportunity to spare those against me, did I?  If I did, did I spare them with the most blameless and upright heart? Or did I spare them with frustration, with anger, with obligation?  If I'm honest, sometimes I 'forgive' someone but out of obligation. I spare their reputation because gossip is not of Jesus. But I can't say that my heart is totally pure of bitterness.

And I wonder, if given the opportunity, how often would we spare our enemy? How often would we just let the Lord handle it instead of placing our hands in the mix of it all? Do we trust him to see our situation and spare us from shame? Do we trust him to bring justice in the most unjust situations?

My Savior, who adores every ounce of me, has spared me. He's spared my life with the MOST PURE heart. I'm grateful this morning that he knows all, and yet, still spares. He sees my sin, and yet still spares.

What a beautiful life we could lead if we let the one who has spared us bring the justice.


  1. Good post, Good thoughts. Sparing is showing mercy. "Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy."


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