1 Kings 11:14-25

God Raises Adversaries

14 Then the Lord raised up an adversary to Solomon, Hadad the Edomite; he was of the [g]royal line in Edom. 15 For it came about, when David was in Edom, and Joab the commander of the army had gone up to bury the slain, and had struck down every male in Edom 16 (for Joab and all Israel stayed there six months, until he had cut off every male in Edom), 17 that Hadad fled [h]to Egypt, he and certain Edomites of his father’s servants with him, while Hadad was a young boy. 18 They arose from Midian and came to Paran; and they took men with them from Paran and came to Egypt, to Pharaoh king of Egypt, who gave him a house and assigned him food and gave him land. 19 Now Hadad found great favor [i]before Pharaoh, so that he gave him in marriage the sister of his own wife, the sister of Tahpenes the queen. 20 The sister of Tahpenes bore his son Genubath, whom Tahpenes weaned in Pharaoh’s house; and Genubath was in Pharaoh’s house among the sons of Pharaoh. 21 But when Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers and that Joab the commander of the army was dead, Hadad said to Pharaoh, “Send me away, that I may go to my own country.” 22 Then Pharaoh said to him, “But what have you lacked with me, that behold, you are seeking to go to your own country?” And he answered, “Nothing; nevertheless you must surely [j]let me go.”

23 God also raised up another adversary to him, Rezon the son of Eliada, who had fled from his lord Hadadezer king of Zobah. 24 He gathered men to himself and became leader of a marauding band, after David slew them of Zobah; and they went to Damascus and stayed [k]there, and reigned in Damascus. 25 So he was an adversary to Israel all the days of Solomon, along with the evil that Hadad did; and he abhorred Israel and reigned over Aram.

Revenge is a nasty business, and we’ll leave to the side that God was setting things up here, but Hadad had found a good life for himself in Egypt. He had found such favor that he was given the sister of the queen of Egypt to be his wife. In fact, “good life” probably doesn’t really describe the life that Hadad found as a result of the tragedy of his youth.

But he let this tragedy consume him, and he was not content, though he literally lacked nothing. His thirst for vengeance was not stopped, and could not be satiated by all the trappings of this world. It’s a sad thing to see such a man leave everything behind to seek revenge.

God tells us that vengeance belongs to Him alone. I was listening to a podcast earlier, and a famous baseball player said that you need to give all the credit to God. Give it away, so that it doesn’t burden you. And vengeance I think, is the same way. If you hold onto the heartaches of the past, they become a burden. It is not possible to rid yourself of them unless you give them to God. Let him take your burdens, as Peter told us in his letter. For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

If you find yourself holding onto past hurts, it’s time to give them away. They aren’t helping you, and they never will. Can you learn from such things? Absolutely, but when you hold on to them, they only bring heartache and discontentment. Let God take your burden and find His peace, a peace that passes all understanding.

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