6456410_s1 Samuel 24:16 When David had finished saying all this, Saul said, “Can this be the voice of my son David?” and he wept in loud sobs. “You’re the one in the right, not me,” he continued. “You’ve heaped good on me; I’ve dumped evil on you. And now you’ve done it again—treated me generously. God put me in your hands and you didn’t kill me. Why? When a man meets his enemy, does he send him down the road with a blessing? May God give you a bonus of blessings for what you’ve done for me today! I know now beyond doubt that you will rule as king. The kingdom of Israel is already in your grasp! Now promise me under God that you will not kill off my family or wipe my name off the books.” 

I just read a detailed open letter from Michael Eric Dyson on his one time Mentor Cornell West. It’s interesting that I saw both of them at the Funeral of Dr. Gardner C. Taylor just a couple of weeks ago but they were on opposite ends of the street. Brother Dyson talks about the painful split from his mentor once he turned a bitter and jealous eye on his protégée for not siding with him on his slamming of President Obama. He entitled the article the “Ghost of Cornel West. ” it is a sad commentary on the death of a relationship.

It is also a timeless tale of a “David and Saul” conflictual” relationship. It is a relationship between someone older that should be walking with someone younger passing the mantle but instead their love has turned to hate out of jealousy. I’ve seen it over and over in ministry and in life. I appreciate Dr. Dyson explaining from his viewpoint what went wrong. I only hope that they can reconcile or at least Dr. West see where love could have worked better than condemnation.

What can we learn?

1. Don’t curse what God has blessed. David had been anointed to be the next King. The mantle was passing. In the meantime, Saul could have been grooming David; instead, he was trying to kill him. If someone who should be grooming you is trying to kill you…leave.

2. Don’t kill someone God has anointed even if they tried to kill you. Leave them alone. Don’t waste time trying to kill someone that tried to kill you. David said, “He would leave room for God to avenge him. ” You don’t have to retaliate against those that try to malign you. God will do that.

3. Let them go and move on to what God has for you. David let Saul go, after he had him in the cave. Saul was relieving himself in the cave not knowing David was in there. David cut off a piece of his robe and later showed Saul he had a chance to kill him.  David had respect for the position even though he didn’t like the ways of the person. You never hate your leader. You give them back to God.

4. Leave room for conviction of conscience. After David was stricken in his conscience for even thinking of killing his mentor, he confessed to him and asked him “Why was he trying to kill him!?” Saul broke down crying because he realized that if David was really his enemy he would have killed him. When you have a chance to get revenge on your mentor, who’s jealous, kill them with kindness and watch God touch their heart.

Father’s don’t kill sons and sons don’t retaliate. Give your differences to God. Fathers raise and love your sons and daughters. They are supposed to do better than you. They are supposed to go higher than you; if they don’t, it’s because you failed or you murdered them. Sons and daughters don’t put your mouth or hands on your mentors. Pray for them and ask God to touch their hearts. You will have children one day and it’s not easy.

Dear God,

Help us to honor our father’s and mothers that our days may be long on the earth. Help us as parents not to exasperate our children. Teach us all how to gracefully transition to our new roles without becoming bitter and petty. Thank you for being a Father that gave your son to us but raised him from the dead. That’s love. 

In Jesus Name,

Amen