Don’t Get Even; Get Over It - The One Year Through the Bible Devotional

Don’t Get Even; Get Over It

24“This is what the dream means, Your Majesty, and what the Most High has declared will happen to my lord the king. 25You will be driven from human society, and you will live in the fields with the wild animals. You will eat grass like a cow, and you will be drenched with the dew of heaven. Seven periods of time will pass while you live this way, until you learn that the Most High rules over the kingdoms of the world and gives them to anyone he chooses. 26But . . . you will receive your kingdom back again when you have learned that heaven rules. 27King Nebuchadnezzar, please accept my advice. Stop sinning and do what is right. Break from your wicked past and be merciful to the poor. Perhaps then you will continue to prosper.” 28But all these things did happen to King Nebuchadnezzar.

Daniel 4:24-28

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Revenge is a natural response. Anyone can do it, and everyone does. Tell others about a time when you responded that way, and they will be able to sympathize with you. It’s understandable and logical. It’s even intuitive. For many, it’s a way of life. For a few, it’s not even an option.

Daniel was one of the few, the humble, the forgiving. In this reading, he learns of the tragic future awaiting King Nebuchadnezzar, a man who has offended Daniel beyond the limits of reason. As you read, notice especially Daniel’s attitude toward the king. Daniel sets an example to follow.

Read Daniel 4:1–6:28

Daniel served King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon—a mixed blessing. Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed Daniel’s home, killed many of Daniel’s people, and leveled the Temple of Daniel’s God. Daniel, the servant of God, was forced to serve an enemy king. Yet as soon as Daniel understood Nebuchadnezzar’s dream—foretelling a horrible future for this rogue—he was “aghast” and wondered how to break the news. He even told the king he wished that the dream’s foreshadowed judgments would happen to the king’s enemies and not to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4:19)! How could Daniel so deeply grieve the fate of an enemy? He had forgiven the king.

You do not have to like or endorse hurtful actions. Perhaps you will even need to put a stop to them. But you can forgive the offender. God may even use you in an extraordinary way in that person’s life, much as he used Daniel in Nebuchadnezzar’s. The next time someone hurts or mistreats you, ask God to help you forgive him or her, and lay aside any plans you may have to get even.

From the Book: