1 Samuel 24

1 Samuel 24 has Saul pursuing David in the wilderness of Engedi.  Saul took 3000 men and “went to seek David”.  The chase is on yet again.   Saul came along a cave and “went in to relieve himself” without knowing that “David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave”.  He had no idea that David was hiding deeper into the cave.  David had his chance.  He had the man who has been incessantly chasing him at his mercy and Saul had no clue David was hiding there.

David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe”.  What?  He cuts off a piece of fabric.  David had his chance but chooses to let Saul live out of respect for his place of authority, even if it was being abused and used against him.  In fact, “David persuaded his men….and did not permit them to attack Saul”.  He not only did not harm Saul, he protected him from his own men.  How crazy is that?  David knows his place, and also knows that killing Saul would not resolve anything.  David wants to work at restoring the relationship.  Even if the king was crazy.

So David follows Saul out of the cave and calls out “Behold, this day your eyes have seen how the Lord gave you today into my hand in the cave. And some told me to kill you, but I spared you”.  That has to count for something doesn’t it?  “I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it”.  David makes it clear that he could have ended this chase quite easily, but he chose not to.  He has positioned himself as the good guy here and as one who is following God.

Saul sees how lucky he is to be spared.  “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil”.  David could have repaid evil with evil, but instead repaid evil with good.  And he makes an impression, not only on Saul, but on all who were there.  His actions spoke volumes about his character.  Saul asks David for this favor, even though he certainly has no grounds to do so.  “Swear to me therefore by the Lord that you will not cut off my offspring after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house.”   Even though Saul makes a public appearance that he is stopping the chase, David is not quite ready to trust yet.  “Then Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold”.  Trust but verify – that is where David is with Saul and his new leaf.


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