1st Samuel 21-24
In today’s reading, we see more examples of Saul’s rebellion against God and his hatred of David. Ahimelech the priest had inquired of the Lord for David. In his rage, Saul ordered that not only Ahimelech, but all the priests must be killed – so Doeg the Edomite, one of Saul’s goons, killed 85 priests, then went to their town and killed every man, woman, and child (and its cattle, donkeys, and sheep). In chapter 23, Saul chased David and tried to kill him multiple times.
In chapter 24, David finally has his opportunity for revenge. Saul was again chasing David. David and his men were hiding in the Desert of En Gedi. Saul and 3000 chosen troops were in hot pursuit. Along the way, Saul needed to go to the bathroom. He wanted a little privacy, so he stepped into a cave to relieve himself. Little did he know that David and his men were hiding further back in that very cave.
If you were David, what would you have done? Would you have eliminated the threat to your life, and ushered in your reign as king? To be perfectly honest, I think that’s exactly what I would have done. David’s men encouraged David to kill Saul, but instead, David crept up to Saul, and cut off the corner of Saul’s robe.
Afterward, David was conscience stricken and said, “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.”
Wow! Clearly Saul was a scoundrel, but David spared his life because God had made him king. I think we can learn a lesson or two from David’s respect for the office of authority, even when the man in the office wasn’t worthy of respect.
This is exactly what we’re told to do in 1 Peter 2:13-14 – “For the Lord’s sake, submit to all human authority—whether the king as head of state, or the officials he has appointed. For the king has sent them to punish those who do wrong and to honor those who do right.”
David’s actions also remind me of Romans 12:17-18 – “Never pay back evil with more evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
So too, we need to submit to authority, even when we don’t like the person in authority, or what they are doing. Also, we need to be intentional about never repaying evil for evil.
To finish today’s story, because David had spared Saul’s life, Saul promised to leave David alone, and returned home (for now). David and his men went up to their stronghold. God had protected David yet again.
Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Samuel+21-24&version=NIV
Tomorrow’s reading will be Psalm 7,27,31, 34 and 52 on our 2020 Chronological Bible Reading Plan