David is wounded emotionally, spiritually, even psychologically. He retreats from the expulsion from King Saul’s presence. When he escapes to the cave Adullam, others hear of his story. Soon a band of distressed, discontented, and indebted men gather around David and nominate him to be his new leader. This group would not rate very high in emotional health or stability. Yet, David nobly leads this group during a desperate season. The need for revenge was intense. Because of David’s actions at the Tabernacle, he “occasioned the death” of an entire priestly family (1 Samuel 21:22). He is running for his life from a maniacal leader and he has several hundred men with a chip on their shoulder.
The natural impulse and one we see in our current world would be to stir up riots, or worse, engage in guerilla warfare. Civil war would create a deep divide in the country of Israel. David was able to put the right thing in his crosshairs. He sought the profit of the nation he loved, and he lived by a different standard. You can almost hear his cry from his youth echo throughout his life, “Is there not a cause” (1 Samuel 17:29)? David takes the helm of a volatile band of men and aims their passion and even their aggression in the right direction—the enemy. He wasn’t perfect at it. He almost wiped Nabal off the face of the earth, but the wisdom of Abigail rescued him.
We all have been wounded, and naturally, people who share similar experiences gravitate to you. The tendency is to fight the wrong enemy. Whether it’s in your family, at work, or in the church, your friends and family are not the enemies! Your spouse is not the enemy. Your co-worker is not the enemy. The person on the other side of the church sanctuary is not the enemy. Satan is the enemy and he has a way of fanning the flames of “getting even.” If he can encourage you to expel all your energy in bitterness or infighting, then he has one less soldier of the cross to worry about.
Who should be in the crosshairs? You’ve been hurt. I understand. Paul said, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18). Endeavor to restore relationships with your fellow soldiers, your spouse, or co-workers, but aim your energy at the true enemy. “Neither give place to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).