1 Samuel 24
David Spares Saul's Life
1 After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, "David is in the Desert of En Gedi." 2 So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said [a] to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.' " Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul's robe.
5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD." 7 With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
8 Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 9 He said to Saul, "Why do you listen when men say, 'David is bent on harming you'? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, 'I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the LORD's anointed.' 11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 12 May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13 As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you.
14 "Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? 15 May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand."
16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, "Is that your voice, David my son?" And he wept aloud. 17 "You are more righteous than I," he said. "You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 18 You have just now told me of the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today. 20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. 21 Now swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father's family."
22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
David had the chance to kill Saul. Saul certainly had tried to kill David, numerous times, in fact! He was jealous of and afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, and he was a mighty warrior. Saul was out to get David. He knew God was planning to give David the throne of Israel, which was bad news for Saul, as he was the current king. But David chose to obey God, and not to kill Saul, even when he had the perfect opportunity. No one would have thought him wrong to do it, but David cared more about what God thought. So, he spared Saul's life, and postponed his rule as king of Israel. He waited on God's timing, even though he could have ended his immediate problems, which included living on the run, always fearing a knife in the back. He life was in danger. Every day. He could have justified his actions, but he chose to let God handle it. And God got the glory, because Saul and all three of his sons died on the same day a little while later, clearing the throne for none other than merciful, obedient David. David also had the opportunity, after this encounter with Saul, to write more of the book of Psalms, which have spoken to peoples' hearts for three thousand years.
I am struggling with God's seeming inaction in my current circumstances. I am finding myself falling for a man who is not a Christian. I am becoming discontent in my job. I KNOW KNOW KNOW that I absolutely cannot go down that road with this guy, but some attention sure seems better than the none I have from my "Mr. Right" that God is taking his sweet time bringing around. Friends, please pray for me to find my strength and self-control in the Lord, and for peace and intimate relationship in the waiting time. I am feeling a bit left behind, also, as friends move on to other jobs (to places I DO NOT feel called, so it's not jealousy), but as I wait for God to call me elsewhere, I feel..forgotten about. I could see how hard it would have been for David not to just kill Saul, take the throne and forget about his anxiety-filled life on the run. Wouldn't it have been nice for him to feel peaceful and taken care of? But he chose obedience over expedience and ease, and was greatly rewarded. His relationship with God was strengthened, and you just know God's heart was pleased by his trust. God, give me a heart like David's. I get tired of waiting for God, and feel like maybe my own way isn't so bad. This is where I must battle feelings with truth. That's been my struggle the past week or so, but I know that I will continue to trust God, because there is no other way.
This sermon, by Dr. Michael Youssef, is what I draw today's post from.