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My Hand Shall Not

Daily Reading: 1 Samuel 24

Scripture Focus: May the Lord judge between me and you, may the Lord avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you. (1 Samuel 24.12)

Devotional Thought: Yesterday, I was speaking with Toni, one of my prayer partners, who shared her story of how the mercy of the cross became real for her. That realization, along with the tragedy that preceded it, changed her life forever.

While the father of Toni’s two grandchildren was caring for the children, the baby – three months old – unexpectedly died. Her daughter was away from the house. No one was there except the father, the three year old and the three month old. A week later, it was determined that the baby had died of “shaken baby syndrome” and that the father was guilty of murder. Toni shared with me, “I was broken. But, in that moment I realized what the cross meant. Jesus died so that even the most heinous sin could be forgiven. Even a senseless murderer could find mercy because of the cross.” And, in that realization, Toni knew that she too must forgive the murderer of her grandbaby. She even reached out to the family of the father to help them find peace.

I must admit to you, that I was humbled by that story. I remembered how angry I was when my daughter was going through a bitter custody dispute. I had struggled to find forgiveness in my heart, to not wish ill upon those involved. I dreamed of ways that they would “get theirs.”

We are familiar with the adage: “I don’t get angry; I get even.” Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t live by that adage? Aren’t you thankful that God has mercy on those who least deserve it? Aren’t you glad for the cross of Jesus Christ, which brings us forgiveness in place of judgment?

Jesus died for us all. For every sinner.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name... Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 82.1-8

1 God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: 2 “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. 4 Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

5 They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken.

6 I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; 7 nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.”

8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!

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