1 Samuel 24

1 Samuel 24 has Saul done fighting with the Philistines and ready to pursue David again.  “Saul took three thousand chosen men” and took off to catch David in the wilderness.  As they approached the area David was, Saul went into a cave to rest.  Little did he know that David and his men were deep inside the cave, so it appeared that God had handed Saul to David on a platter to kill him.  But David did not – he only cut off a corner of Saul’s robe while he sleep.

David’s men were encouraging him to kill the evil king whom they had been running from for some time.  But David would not.  “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed”.  After Saul moved out of the cave, David came out and called to him.  And he tells Saul that he had spared his life.  “For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands”.

Saul is impacted by that.  He knew that the only reason he was alive and breathing now was that David had chosen not to kill him out of honor and respect.  After all, Saul is David’s father-in-law.  And he was the king.  Saul says “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil”.  David repays evil with good.  He is not vindictive.  He intentionally lets Saul live and makes a calculated decision to change their relationship by doing good.

It works.  Saul knows his time as king is short lived and David will be taking the throne.  He does have an ask of David.  “I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 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”.  Saul just doesn’t want to have his legacy erased.  David agrees and swears to keep things intact for Saul’s heritage.  But this was a pivotal decision and outcome because David chose to repay evil with good.

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