The only way to win

Finding God in the little things...

Moderator: lobo

The only way to win

Postby lobo on Wed Oct 18, 2006 2:50 pm

Readings: 1 Samuel 23; Psalm 57, 1 Samuel 24

I suggest reading those in that order before reading the rest of the email.

David has been told that he will be king. David and his men are hiding in a cave, when Saul comes in to relieve himself. Everyone around him is telling him that this is the time. THIS is the day the Lord spoke of... Everything looked like it was fitting into a plan. So, David goes up and cuts a corner off Saul's robe.

In verse 5-7: Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD." With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

I can only imagine the shock on Saul's face when David showed up behind him...

David said to Saul, "Why do you listen when men say, 'David is bent on harming you'? This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, 'I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the LORD's anointed.' See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. May the LORD judge between you and me. 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. May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.

It brought to mind a scene from a comic book that I first read in 1986... It stuck with me for 20 years... ... c_page.jpg

Evil begets evil. Vengeance is a circle. One person attacks another, then that person attacks the other one in defence. Pretty soon, you have a "Bay of Pigs"...

At the height of the Cold War, the world stood on the eve of destruction. The United States and the Soviet Union had nuclear weapons aimed at each other. If one side had pushed the red button, the other side would have launched their weapons.

There is a scene that illustrates this in the movie War Games. It is towards the end, when the computer is simulating "total global thermonuclear warfare". It shows first strike and counterstrike. Each scenario ends in total destruction, no matter which side starts or the order in which things play out. There is a message at the end (paraphrased): "The only way to win is not to play."

Arguments are a lot like that.

One person strikes. The other person strikes back.

It keeps escalating, until both sides are perched on the edge -- the eve of destruction. If one person pushes the red button, it could blow the other person away. It could lead to coldness, hardening of the heart, or a rift in the relationship.

Bitter arguments are an odd game... The only way to win, is not to play...
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