1 Samuel 24:16-22 – Saul’s Turn

Read 1 Samuel 24:16-22

What if

It got real when Saul looked down and saw a chunk missing from his robe—the same chunk he sees in David’s grasp. David’s words must have cut through him, despite the fact he has been overtaken by an evil spirit.

Saul was on the spot. He needed to speak with authority and not lose credibility. Yet he had heard everything David had said. David opened with “my father” in verse 11 and called him “king” twice more. Emotion overcame Saul in this moment. Saul now begins with a clear-headed, heartfelt response.

Amidst his tears, Saul says, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil.” That certainly sounds like the voice of reason coming from Saul. Rather than try to make excuses or even ask for forgiveness first, he applauds David on his character. That had to take a lot of courage.

Can you think of a time in your life when you have had to come face to face with someone you aren’t very fond of? I have. There’s a fine line between being nice (which doesn’t seem sincere) and being civil. Don’t you prefer civility over something harmful or hurtful? We may find it helpful to ask God for his grace in those situations.

I was surprised by Saul’s blessing. Again, he seems lucid and in his right mind. A godly king would certainly make a comment like this. “May the LORD reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today.” These are not the words I would expect from Saul who had been seeking vengeance.

Saul had come to the realization that his days were numbered as king. His tears also covered the disappointment he must have felt for not being the king he had aspired to be. He had made some very wrong choices along the way that sealed his fate. Have you struggled with your own lot in life, wondering what would have happened had you made other choices? We all do that. It can be devastating and hold us back from the glorious life we have to enjoy.

Rather than get caught in the “what-ifs,” we serve ourselves and others better if we focus on how we can go forward living God’s way. What’s done is done. It’s better to let those past hurts go, because we can’t change them anyway. What is yet to come is still a story being written. Do you rely on God’s wisdom when making your own life choices?

Saul closes by asking for David’s promise not to destroy him or his family. David had already made that promise to Jonathan. David’s motivation during the confrontation was simply to figure out why Saul was against him and stop the pursuit. Instead, he was all but handed the kingship. However, that was only God’s to give. Stay tuned to see how God works it all out from here.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray …
Lord, I know there is no room for regret along the way, yet I find myself, from time to time, thinking about “what-ifs” in my life. I give you thanks for all the wonderful ways you are working behind the scenes. I look forward to seeing how you are going to use me each day. Prepare my heart to be the servant you want me to be, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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