My bible reading today took me to 2 Samuel 4. There is this story of two captains in the army of Israel who decide they are going to kill the current king of Israel (Ishbosheth), cut off his head and take the head to David, who was ruling over Judah at the time. These guys were pretty proud of themselves. They even say to David . . . "Look!" they exclaimed. "Here is the head of Ishbosheth, the son of your enemy Saul who tried to kill you. Today the LORD has given you revenge on Saul and his entire family!" (2 Samuel 4:8 NLT)
I guess that was the way things happened back then. But the really interesting thing is that David would have none of it. Look what he says back to these guys . . . "As surely as the LORD lives, the one who saves me from my enemies, I will tell you the truth. 10 Once before, someone told me, 'Saul is dead,' thinking he was bringing me good news. But I seized him and killed him at Ziklag. That's the reward I gave him for his news! 11 Now what reward should I give the wicked men who have killed an innocent man in his own house and on his own bed? Should I not also demand your very lives?" 12 So David ordered his young men to kill them, and they did. (2 Sam 4:9-12 NLT)
Why was David's thinking so opposite from the culture he was living in? I think it has everything to do with where his heart was. The bible tells us that David was a man after God's own heart (1 Sam 13:14, Acts 13:22). I think that's a characteristic of a man (or woman) after God's own heart. He does not operate according to the cultural standards, but to God's standards. What standards to you gauge your life by?