CONFORM TO GOD’S AGENDA
1 Samuel 24:1-31:13: October 26 2008
1 Chron. 10:1-12
Saul was forced to break off his hunt for David because
of a Philistine incursion into Israel . Immediately after
stopping the Philistine raid, Saul resumed his campaign
against David. Presented with an extraordinary opportunity
to kill Saul, David refused to take it. Instead, he pledged he
would never kill the king. Consequently Saul ceased military
operations against David. During this brief interlude, Samuel
Warriors continued to gather around David. So he
employed this fighting force to protect herders in the area
from bandits and from foreign military raids. When Nabal,
one of the men he protected, acted ungratefully, David
decided to punish him. Only the intercession of the man’s
wife spared him from David’s wrath. The next morning
Nabal had a seizure, which left him paralyzed, and he died
in less than two weeks. David took Abigail, the man’s
widow, as a new wife. In the meanwhile Saul gave David’s
first wife to another man.
Once more Saul led an army to capture David. Once more
David had an opportunity to kill Saul David slipped into
Saul’s camp when. the king’s troops failed to post sufficient
security. But David continued to honor the Lord’s anointed.
Instead of assassinating the king, David took Saul’s spear
and water jug as evidence he could have killed the king. Once
more Saul abandoned his campaign against his former son –
in -law. Realizing the respite was temporary, David sought
political asylum with the Philistines. Acting as a hired agent
of the Philistines, he and his soldiers attacked Israel’s
Saul’s mental and spiritual state continued its downward
plunge About this time the Philistines began preparations to
destroy Israel once and for all. Instead of seeking the Lord’s
guidance, Saul turned to the occult. When the deceased
prophet Samuel appeared and declare Israel’s utter defeat,
he was terrified.
As the Philistine troops invaded Israel, David and his
warriors marched with them. However, the Philistine
generals distrusted him’. So he was dismissed from his
service to the Philistine king. Even without David’s support,
the Philistines easily defeated Israel. Saul and his sons-
including Jonathan-were killed. The Philistines occupied
large areas of territory, all in the middle of the nation
1. Respecting God -Given Leaders (1 Sam.24:1-7a)
1Sam. 24:1 After Saul returned from pursuing the
Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.”
24:2 So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all
Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the
Crags of the Wild Goats. 24:3 He came to the sheep pens
along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to
relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the
cave. 24:4 The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke
of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your
hands for you to deal with as you wish.’ ” Then David crept
up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 24:5
Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut
off a corner of his robe. 24:6 He said to his men, “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.” 24:7 With these words
David rebuked his men and did not allow them to
This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said . There
is no previous record of the divine revelation here alluded
to by David’s men. Perhaps this was their own
interpretation of the anointing of David to replace Saul
(1 SAmuel16:13-14), or of assurances given to David that
he would survive Saul’s vendetta against him and
ultimately become king (1 Samuel 20:14-15; 23:17). If
the alternative given in the NIV text note is taken, the
reference would not be to a verbal communication from
the Lord but to the providential nature of the incident
itself, which David’s men understood as a revelation
from God that David should not ignore. For he is the
Anointed of the Lord . Because Saul’s royal office carried
divine sanction by virtue of his anointing (1 Samuel 9:16),
David is determined not to wrest the kingship from Saul
but to leave its disposition to the Lord who gave it
(1 Samuel 24:12,15; 26:10).
2. Accepting God’s Judgments (1SAm. 24:11-12)
1Sam. 24:11 See, my father, look at this piece of your
robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did
not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not
guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged
you, but you are hunting me down to take my life.
24:12 May the LORD judge between you and me. And
may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me,
but my hand will not touch you.
My father . Saul was David’s father-in-law. Michal
love David. God’s favor on David is revealed not only
in his military accomplishments, but also in Michal’s
love for him —now added to that of Jonathan. Everything
Saul seeks to use against David turns to David’s advantage.
3. Maintaining Godly Character (1 Sam.24:16-19)
1Sam. 24:16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked,
“Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud.
24:17 “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have
treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 24:18 You
have just now told me of the good you did to me; the LORD
delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. 24:19
When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away
unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you
treated me today.
He wept aloud. Saul experiences temporary remorse
(1 Samuel 26:21) for his actions against David but quickly
reverts to his former determination to kill him
(1 Samuel 26:2).
4. Waiting on God’s Timing (1Sam. 24:20-22)
1Sam. 24:20 I know that you will surely be king and that
the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.
24:21 Now swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut
off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s
family.” 24:22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul
returned home, but David and his men went up to the
Not cut off my descendants . (1 Samuel 20:14-15).
Stronghold . An inaccessible place (1 Samuel 22:4). From
previous experience David did not place any confidence
in Saul’s words of repentance.
The root meaning behind the word "righteous" and
related words is unclear. Some scholars think it means
"to be straight." The idea is conformity to an acceptable
form of behavior. The acceptable standard of behavior in
the Old Testament era came from God.
The term could be applied to inanimate objects such as
weights. Commerce is impossible apart from a standard.
Thus the Old Testament warns against fraud by inaccurate
When applied to human conduct, the term concerns
relationships. In describing David as "righteous;’ Saul
affirmed David’s behavior never deviated from what was
proper for a vassal towards his king. However, David’s
conformity was more than just ethical behavior. In the
case of Israel, the king was a representative of God.
Therefore, proper conduct for a vassal was prescribed
Furthermore, both Saul and David were members of
God’s covenant community. Consequently, righteousness
included conformity to the standards laid out in God’s
Word. In contrast to David, Saul had failed to conform
to either his responsibility as a king or as a member of
the covenant community.