1 Samuel 23:13-25:44
1 Samuel 24:4-8, “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. Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, ‘The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.’ With these words, David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way. Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, ‘My lord the king!’ When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground.”
Once again, David was on the run from crazy King Saul, hiding out in a cave with 600 men. Saul’s troops were closing in when David got a lucky break. Saul entered the cave alone, unaware that 601 pairs of eyes were fixed on him. David’s men were chomping at the bit to attack, but the seasoned warrior snuck up and merely snipped off a bit of the king’s clothing. Clueless to his potential imminent demise, Saul exited the cave unscathed. But here is where we see why God called David “a man after His own heart.” David felt bad about what he’d done. What?! This lunatic had been hunting him down like an animal, and he felt guilty about a little secret robe alteration?
There are several great lessons to unpack from this event! First, we see David do something that Saul had trouble with — he waited on God’s timing. Although he knew God had anointed him to be the future king, he understood it wasn’t his place to take the throne by force. He wanted God to orchestrate the events for him to do so.
Second, David refused to kill Saul even when he had the golden opportunity because he respected God’s chosen leader. He understood that God places all authorities over us and, as long as Saul was king, he would honor that.
Third, we must applaud David’s ability to let go of anger and resentment despite Saul making his life a living nightmare. He proved that, although we can’t control the actions of others, we can control our response. This was a great show of godliness before his men!
We’ve all struggled, at times, with waiting on God’s timing, submitting to authority, and letting go of anger towards those who’ve wronged us. So, apply these powerful lessons, and you, too, can be a “David,” a person after God’s own heart!
God, I want to be a person after Your own heart. Help me apply these lessons to live out Your best and bring honor to Your name. Amen.