David’s Trust in the Lord for Promotion and Protection—1 Samuel 24

I. DAVID CHOOSES TO HONOR GOD AND SPARE SAUL’S LIFE (1 SAM 24:1-7)

” 1 Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, saying, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3 He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave. 4 The men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’ ” Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly. 5 It came about afterward that David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. 6 So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the LORD that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, since he is the LORD’S anointed.” 7 David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul. And Saul arose, left the cave, and went on his way. ” (1 Samuel 24:1-7 NASB)
A. Saul has been fanatical in finding David, to the point that he has assembled a specially chosen militia of three-thousand (3,000) men that are driven for one purpose to kill David and anyone who is with him. Saul just so happens to find himself in the cave where David and his men are?
B. David’s men looked at this as an opportunity to rid themselves of their enemy once and for all. They quote to David a ‘supposed’ prophecy over his life. Incidentally, this is nowhere to be found in the bible.
” 4 The men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’…” (1 Samuel 24:4 NASB95)

C. David moved by their words, responds, but restrains himself from killing Saul, and secretly cuts off the edge of his robe. This bothered his conscience, so much so, that he persuaded his men not to harm Saul.
” 5 It came about afterward that David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe. ” (1 Samuel 24:5 NASB)

II. DAVID’S HUMILITY BEFORE SAUL (1 SAM 24:8-11)

” 8 Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, saying, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him, David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself. 9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, ‘Behold, David seeks to harm you’? 10 “Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’S anointed.’ 11 “Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. ” (1 Samuel 24:8-11 )
A. David calls to Saul in all humility. He honors Saul by calling him “My Lord the King.” This shows his respect for Saul and his office as the King of Israel.
B. David prostrated before Saul, presents himself in a posture of vulnerability and submission before his enemy. We see a spirit of meekness operating in David’s heart in this unusual turn of events.
” 39 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. ” (Matthew 5:39 )
C. David’s love for God and for His Word are shown here by how he values the anointing on Saul’s life regardless that he’s his mortal enemy.
” 10…‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’S anointed.’ ” (1 Samuel 24:10 NASB95)

” 28 “You shall not curse God, nor curse a ruler of your people. ” (Exodus 22:28 NASB95)
D. David in this humble position pleads with Saul from his heart in kindness. It’s interesting how he doesn’t accuse Saul directly, but he blames other men for conspiring against him to Saul. David knew full well that it was Saul’s own madness that was against him.
” 9 David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men, saying, ‘Behold, David seeks to harm you’? ” (1 Samuel 24:9 NASB95)

” 10 “Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’S anointed.’ 11 “Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it. ” (1 Samuel 24:10-11)
1. David proves that his heart was innocent of any evil towards Saul by sparing his life.
2. David being unusually kind calls him “My Father” pleading his guiltlessness before him, yet, points out the bizarre reality of Saul seeking his death.
III. DAVID’S TRUST IN GOD TO PROTECT AND PROMOTE HIM (1 SAM 24:12, 15)

” 12 “May the LORD judge between you and me, and may the LORD avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. … 15 “The LORD therefore be judge and decide between you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.” ” (1 Samuel 24:12-15 )
A. David looks to God for protection. That the Lord would be his avenger
” 12…may the LORD avenge me on you; but my hand shall not be against you. ” (1 Samuel 24:12 )

B. David again declares his total trust in the Lord not only for protection, but also to fulfill His promises to him.
” 15 “The LORD therefore be judge and decide between you and me; and may He see and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.” ” (1 Samuel 24:15 NASB95)
1. David’s surrendered heart before God in light of the promises over his life and his enemy before him serves as a proving ground for God to show His faithfulness.
” 14 …and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people…” (1 Samuel 13:14)

” 1 … Fill your horn with oil and go; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have selected a king for Myself among his sons.” ” (1 Samuel 16:1)
2. David, although being kind and meek before Saul, believes God to be his advocate in this matter and render a just and right decision. I like the way the NIV puts it.
” 15 May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”” (1 Samuel 24:15 NIV)
C. Psalm 57 was written while David was hiding in the caves from Saul. We see David’s heart during this perilous time and how he took refuge in God as his only source of strength and protection.
” 1 Be gracious to me, O God, be gracious to me, For my soul takes refuge in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will take refuge Until destruction passes by. 2 I will cry to God Most High, To God who accomplishes all things for me. 3 He will send from heaven and save me; He reproaches him who tramples upon me. Selah. God will send forth His lovingkindness and His truth. ” (Psalm 57:1-3 )

IV. DAVID AND SAUL—CONTRAST OF HEARTS
A. Saul lived in opposition to the hand of God in his life. He opposed the prophetic promises over his life through disobedience and his relentless pursuit to put to death the future ruler, so that his kingdom would continue. Saul knew that the Kingdom was taken from him, yet he was doing all he could to maintain his exalted position in defiance to the word of the Lord.
” 13 “You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’s command.”” (1 Samuel 13:13-14 NIV)

” 26 But Samuel said to him, … You have rejected the word of the LORD, and the LORD has rejected you as king over Israel!”” (1 Samuel 15:26 NIV)
B. David operated in the opposite spirit. Instead of trying to resist or bring to pass the promises over his life, he chose the lower road, to allow the faithfulness of God’s love and leadership to raise him up. He didn’t allow the temptation of self-promotion to cause him to commit an act of injustice.
C. We are told through many tests we enter into the kingdom. David is such a person that had to be tested over time and in many ways that would reveal his love and trust for God. How we respond to the pressures of life related to our thinking patterns, dreams and prophetic promises spoken from the Lord is the soil that will either nourish and fulfill God’s plans for us, or dry up and cause us to resist God’s ways, resulting in discouraged and wounded hearts.
” 22 … Through many tribulations (trials, tests and difficulties) we must enter the kingdom of God.” ” (Acts 14:22)

” 23 “And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil, this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.”” (Matthew 13:23)
D. In order for David to be the just ruler and a source of blessing for his people, God allowed the severity of the test (circumstances of life both positive and negative) to be in like measure to the greatness of the promise over his life. Jesus, of course is the perfect example of this. His absolute and humble obedience was the grounds for His ultimate exaltation because He endured perfectly through every circumstance. He not only lived perfectly before God, but also became the source for all to follow.
” 8 Being found in appearance as a man (Jesus), He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, ” (Philippians 2:8-9)

” 8 Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. 9 And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation, ” (Hebrews 5:8-9)
V. TENDERNESS OPENS THE HEART OF AN ENEMY (1 SAM 24:16-22)

” 16 When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you. 18 “You have declared today that you have done good to me, that the LORD delivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me. 19 “For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safely? May the LORD therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 20 “Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 21 “So now swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s household.” 22 David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.” (1 Samuel 24:16-22)

A. Saul weeps upon recognizing that it was David who was speaking to him.
” 16 When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept. ” (1 Samuel 24:16)
B. Saul admits his guilt and fulfills the prophecy given to him. I believe that this was a sincere moment for Saul. Many people go through moments where they have clarity regarding their faults and sincerely admit guilt, however, very little follow through comes of it. We know that this is true of Saul because he chases after David again 1 Samuel 26. This reveals to us the necessity of walking in the light of truth. Also, this is the prophecy spoken to him coming true from his own lips.
” 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you. 18 “You have declared today that you have done good to me, that the LORD delivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me. ” (1 Samuel 24:17-18)

” 28 So Samuel said to him, “The LORD has torn the kingdom of Israel from you today and has given it to your neighbor, who is better than you. ” (1 Samuel 15:28)
C. Saul blesses David and acknowledges he will become King and pleads with David to spare his descendants.
” 19 …May the LORD therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day. 20 “Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand. 21 “So now swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s household.” 22 David swore to Saul. And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.” (1 Samuel 24:19-22)
VI. SUMMARY
A. We each have a specific and personal destiny uniquely in the heart of God!
” 16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” (Ephesians 4:16)
B. How we respond to people and circumstances effects our attainment or progress of what God is willing to release in our lives (e.g., Saul losing the kingdom, while David is receiving one)
” 12 “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. ” (Matthew 13:12)
C. To have a lifestyle of devotion to the Lord will be the bedrock which will sustain us along the journey of our lives. Although David had persecutors after him, ultimately the battle was David vs. David, rather than Saul. David’s history in God would prove how he would handle circumstances whether positive or negative. His life was marked by a holy passion for God woven in his weakness which is meant to encourage us.
” 4 Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths. 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; For You I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O LORD. ” (Psalm 25:4-7)

” 33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. ” (Matthew 6:33)

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