Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 24.1-22
1 Samuel 24.1-22
Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, saying, "Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi." Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. The men of David said to him, "Behold, this is the day of which the Lord said to you, 'Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.'" Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul's robe secretly. It came about afterward that David's conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul's robe. So he said to his men, "Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord's anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the Lord's anointed." David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, left the cave, and went on his way. Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, saying, "My lord the king!" And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. David said to Saul, "Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, 'Behold, David seeks to harm you'? Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, 'I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord's anointed.' Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. May the Lord judge between you and me, and may the Lord avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancients says, 'Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness'; but my hand shall not be against you. After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog, a single flea? The Lord therefore be judge and decide between you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand." When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, "Is this your voice, my son David?" Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept. He said to David, "You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you. You have declared today that you have done good to me, that the Lord delivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safely? May the Lord therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. So now swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father's household." David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
David is presented here with a golden opportunity to end the misery and pain of the way King Saul had been treating him. Saul was so jealous of David’s popularity with the people of Israel, that he had been actively seeking to kill David. As such, David and some of his men were hiding in a cave, when in walks King Saul himself to take a break. David’s men wanted him to kill the King. The most that David would do was to very quietly cut off a piece of the King’s clothing. Even so, he felt bad about having done so. Why? David recognized the sovereignty of God. He knew that it was God that had placed Saul in the position of lordship.
This is a story about grace, but it is also a story about God and His sovereignty. We as disciples of Jesus must recognize and cherish the belief that God is sovereign. Here’s the hard part. If we believe God to be sovereign, we must also believe God to be sovereign in ALL things. In 1 Timothy 2.1-2, the Apostle Paul tells us that we should be thankful and pray for those in authority over us.
Let me give you two applications.
First, what do you think of our current President? Do you respect and pray for him? How about our last President … same questions. No matter what we think politically, our responsibilities are clear. God has placed our Presidents over us. We must respect them and pray for them. That’s how we can have peace in a tumultuous political environment.
Second, do you have a bad boss? Are they mean and unfair? Guess what … God has placed them in authority over you. We see in 1 Peter 2.13 that we are to submit ourselves to all earthly authorities; kings, police, and even bosses. That means being completely obedient to your responsibilities and duties. Many years ago, my Pastor Dennis Henderson defined obedience as this: doing WHAT you are told, WHEN you are told, and with the RIGHT heart attitude.
We must live out our lives in a blameless manner, giving no one a legitimate reason for denigrating the cause of Christ. Remember, if we believe God to be sovereign, then we must believe He is sovereign in ALL things.
Blessings to you!
Weekly Memory Verse: Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full. John 16.24