Saul Pursues David
April 10 - Nº 100 1 Samuel 23 – 24
Saul kept chasing David, but God would not allow Saul to capture him. After all, God had chosen David to be the next king of Israel. One time Saul’s son, Jonathan, risked his life to warn his best friend about his father’s evil intentions. “Don’t be afraid,” he encouraged David. “He will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father knows this.” Another time, Saul and his troops were closing in on David near a large rock formation. David’s men were on one side and Saul’s forces were on the other. If Saul had gone just a little further, he would have seen David and could easily have captured him. But just then, Saul received an urgent message, “Hurry! You need to come back. The Philistines have invaded our land!” So, Saul quickly returned home to save his nation. David and his men (now numbering about 600) moved to a new location. Whenever someone was planning to capture or betray them, God helped them escape. Saul heard that David and his men were hiding in the rocks and caves of an oasis called En Gedi. He set off with 3,000 of his troops to search for them. Along the way, Saul stopped in a large cave to relieve himself. He didn’t realize that David and his army were hiding in the back of that very same cave. David’s men were ecstatic. “God has given him to you!” they whispered. They wanted David to kill the king then and there. But instead, David quietly snuck up to the place where Saul had laid his robe, and he cut off a piece of it. Immediately he felt guilty. “God anointed Saul to be the king over Israel,” he told his men. “We will not harm him.” Saul left the cave. As he was walking back to his men, David stepped out into the sunlight and yelled, “My lord the king!” Saul turned around. David bowed down to him. Then he yelled, “Why do you listen to the men who say I want to harm you. Look at this—it’s the corner of your robe! God delivered you to me. I could have killed you, but I didn’t. My men wanted to kill you, but I wouldn’t let them because you are the Lord’s anointed king. I spared your life. No matter what you do to me, I will not harm you. I will leave the consequences of your actions up to God.” When Saul heard this, he broke down and cried. He said, “Oh David, my son, you are more righteous than I am. May the Lord reward you greatly for how you treated me today. Now I know for sure that He is going to make you the king over Israel. Please swear to me that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name.” David agreed and made that promise to Saul. Saul returned to his palace and David went back into hiding—still not completely trusting the king’s motives.
When someone hurts you, is your first instinct to get even with them? The truth is, revenge should always be left up to God. He alone can grasp the full scope of every situation. As good as revenge might feel in the moment, it always creates a larger set of problems in the end.