Authority (5)

If you’re not familiar with the account of Saul and David, you’re missing a great part of Scripture.  Saul is the first Israelite king but realizes David is in line for his throne.  Because of jealousy, pride, and arrogance, Saul attempts many times to hunt and kill David – all to no avail.  God protects David.

At one point in the story, David is deep in a cave where Saul enters to “relieve himself.”  David is encouraged by those closest to him to kill Saul but refuses.  He sneaks up to Saul and simply cuts the bottom of his robe.  Read the account in 1 Samuel 24.  It’s interesting that David is remorseful for cutting the kings clothes.

Just two chapters later, David again has the opportunity to destroy his enemy.  Saul and his men were bedded down for the night while David snuck into the camp and took a jar of water and a spear.  Upon reaching safety once more, David calls to the commander of Saul’s army (Abner) and chastises him for being negligent.  Although David had the opportunity (and was encouraged) to take Saul’s life, again he relented.  Hear David’s reasoning.

The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the LORD gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the LORD’S anointed.

1 Samuel 26:23 (emphasis mine)

David knew he would one day reign over the Israelites.  He had been anointed by God’s prophet (Samuel).  And yet David was loyal to the present reign of Saul.  He placed himself under Saul’s authority.  David denied himself (the temptation to kill Saul and be the king) and trusted in God’s providential timing.  For David, being under God’s authority caused him to serve under a despot who was more concerned with his name than God’s will.

David’s commitment to obedience was more important than his own desire(s).  His submission to the authority of God meant he would live by faith and not by sight.  What a great example for us to follow!  A “man after God’s own heart” is what I too want to be.


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