1 Samuel 26
Saul is trying to hunt down David once again, he takes 3000 of his best warriors. This is the second time that Saul was hunting down David, he was embarrassed the first time (see 1 Samuel 24).
Saul feared David, he knew that David was God’s chosen leader to replace him, his fear drove him to try to destroy David. David on the other hand is filled with courage, he doesn’t run away, in fact in we read that David went out to engage with Saul. Just like David engaged Goliath, he had boldness to confront his enemy.
David decides to go into the camp of Saul and he asks for a volunteer to go with him. Abishai volunteers for the mission. Abishai is actually David’s nephew, and a fearless warrior. But for all his courage, Abishai lacks self-control. He asks David if he can kill Saul. But David is not persuaded, he is listening to a higher authority.
Be careful who you listen to. Your closest friends will give you advice that seems to be right, but is that what God is telling you to do? It’s not wrong to get advice from others, but you need to check this against the Word of God.
David quickly rebukes Abishai and once again reminds him that Saul is the Lords anointed. Apart from sparing the life of the King, David was teaching Abishai the order of God’s kingdom. God puts leaders in place. (See Romans 13:1).
We wrestle with this, what if the king is mad? God says honor those He has placed in leadership over you, David shows us that you don’t have to abide by immoral decisions they make, but respect their position.
David and Abishai take the spear and the water jug from Saul and go and stand on a hill with a valley between them and the army of Saul. David taunts Abner but shows the utmost respect for Saul (v17, 18 and 19).
After Saul and his army are humbled, it seems that Saul has a change of heart. He repents and asks David to forgive him. Note these words; “, “I have sinned. Come back, David my son.” It was so evident to Saul and to everyone else that God was with David, he could only repent. As far as we can determine from scripture, Saul resigns himself to the fact that his days are numbered, he does not try to interfere with God’s plan for the nation again.
Saul invites David to come back, but in verse 22 we read that David politely declines. David trusts the Lord, but he does not trust Saul. We must honor and respect those that God has placed in leadership over us, but we must not be gullible. After all they are still fallen people.
David declares to Saul that he trusts that God will reward him, he is not looking for the approval of man. What a lesson to us all. Who are we looking to for a reward or praise?
Saul is completely humbled and acknowledges David’s future. It is clear to Saul and to everyone who was there that day that David was a great man, anointed by God and destined for greatness.
Why did David not allow Abishai to kill Saul? Because David trusted that God was in control, he believed in the sovereignty of God.
If God is in control, we can trust Him for the future and with our lives. David showed this practically, Saul was a terrible King, but David knew that only God had the right to remove him from his position of leadership.
Anyone with an ounce of ambition would have taken matters into his own hands and killed Saul, no-one would have blamed him. But David trusted the Lord.
None of us are in the position that David was in, being anointed as King over Israel. But most of us can identify with an overbearing leader, a cruel boss, an incompetent supervisor, an overbearing parent, or an abusive husband. What do we do in those situations? Do we fight back? David didn’t, a few chapters earlier in 1 Samuel we read the account of Saul hurling a spear at David, what did David do? He ducked.
There is a bit of Saul in all of us, and if we take the situation into our own hands and try to make things right outside of the will of God, we become just like Saul. If David had killed Saul, he would have taken the throne as king by force, and he would have been no better than Saul.
Who is the Saul in your life? Who is that person that you wrestle with submitting to, that leader who has no business being in charge, but yet they have the title.
How you respond makes a huge difference. If you respond in bitterness and gossip, it will just eat you up.
If you respond in humble submission, respecting the person’s authority, you will find peace from God.
Another benefit of humble submission is that others notice, your co-workers notice, your children notice. And one day when you are in that position of authority those who noticed your response will be your biggest supporters.
Like David’s mighty men, who witnessed this event, they never questioned his authority, they chose to fight and die for David, because he honored the Lord with his patience (See James 1:2-4).
Trust God with the Saul’s in your life, God is working in you, testing your faith, producing perseverance, and maturing you. God is not distant and unaware of your pain and suffering, He is intimately involved in your life, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ.