When We Feel Like Saying, “Serves Ya Right!”

When We Feel Like Saying, "Serves Ya Right!" - Grace Fox

If we all made it our goal to respond to our enemies as David did, we’d turn the world upside down!

“Serves ya right!”

Have you ever said those words? I said them often when I was a child, mostly to my siblings when they broke the family rules or got into trouble for picking on me when we were kids. Even now, as a grown woman, I sometimes feel like spouting them when someone wrongs me and later falls into a difficult time. Oh, the wickedness of the human heart.

If anyone had reason to say “Serves ya right,” it was David. Saul had chased him, thrown spears at him, taken his wife from him and married her to another man. Saul’s jealousy had nearly killed him countless times, forced him into hiding, and dethroned him from being a celebrated military leader to the commander of a few hundred motley men.

After all that, Saul died in battle

David had every reason to say “Serves ya right!” but he refused. Instead, he avenged Saul’s death by taking the life of the man who said he’d killed him. He composed a funeral song for Saul and Jonathan and commanded that the entire population of Judah learn it. He said Saul was beloved and gracious. He called him a mighty hero. And he promised to reward the men who gave him a decent burial (2 Samuel 1:15-2:6). Amazing.

What enabled David to respond this way?

I believe several factors played into it:

  • His understanding of who God was. He knew that God was bigger than his circumstances. He recognized that He was in control of every detail of his life even when Saul behaved like an idiot.
  • He feared God more than he feared the king. He held God in high esteem, and knew the value of standing in good relationship with Him.
  • He respected Saul as a person even though his behavior didn’t deserve respect. Perhaps this ability also came from his understanding of God’s role in his life.

David’s response to Saul’s death bewilders me in one way, and it leaves me in awe in another. His attitude towards Saul encourages me to check and change mine where necessary. To be gracious in spirit when someone wrongs me. To treat the offender with respect and encourage others to do the same.

There’s no way I can do this in my own strength, not when my human bent wants to say, “Serves ya right.” Only God can accomplish such a gracious response in me as He did in David.

If we all made it our goal to respond to our enemies as David did, we’d turn the world upside down!

Know you are loved,


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One Comment

  1. It can only be God working in you when all your being wants to do the exact opposite and like you said, respond with “serves you right” ! That just doesn’t happen naturally does it! Despite all the things that Saul did to him, David is still able to put God’s anointing of Saul as King ahead of all the nasty and jealous actions Saul succumbed to. Talk about being able to see with God’s perspective.

    Thanks for the reminder Grace – the world would turn upside down.

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