Think of the restraint! David has opportunity again to take Saul out of the picture once and for all. And again, David lets Saul, God’s anointed king, live. This is a beautiful picture of trusting God, wouldn’t you agree?
David even had to control his man, Abishai, from taking this golden opportunity. It was a teachable moment to show Abishai the importance and respect that God’s anointed one should receive. Despite Saul’s evil intention to kill David, David gives mercy once more. David affirmed his trust in God, “Surely the LORD will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle.”
“Surely the LORD…” we should take note of such a faith-filled statement. What is it that you are waiting for? Surely God will see to it that your situation resolves the way God intends. Sometimes the outcome looks a little different than we expect or even hope for. But when we look at the big picture, from God’s perspective and not our own feeble one, our trials and our successes all have a deeper meaning.
As the scene plays out in our text, it’s like déjà vu or an instant replay. David gets Saul’s attention. David seeks an answer to why he is being hunted down. Both men show each other respect in their exchange. Saul seems coherent and confesses his sinfulness. Saul gives his blessing. Both men leave peacefully and return home.
God appears in the story, too. If it had not been for the “deep sleep” induced by God, David’s visit to Saul’s camp may have gone quite differently. Again, God allowed David an opportunity to do the right thing when he was more than tempted to take advantage of Saul’s vulnerability and kill him.
I wonder why we have two accounts that are so very similar? Will there be a third?
The other nugget in this text is obedience. We see how David worked through his temptation, focusing on his faith in God and the provision he knew was his. While we haven’t been anointed king like David, we have been given an inheritance because of Jesus’ blood shed on the cross. We can focus on our own provision when temptation lures us.
What are your hot buttons? What struggles do you face in terms of dealing with temptation? Will imagining the fortitude it took David to refrain from killing his enemy help you in any way to hold back and resist temptation?
There’s another verse that comes to mind when we think about the temptations of life. It’s often misunderstood or taken out of context. This verse gives us the hope we need in the face of temptation. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.”
Look for the way out God is giving you.
Let’s pray …
Lord, thank you for giving me the strength and the way out when I am feeling tempted by the wrong things. Give me the discernment to make good choices. Forgive me when I fall short and stumble. Fill me with your Spirit anew as I face this new day with boldness. My faith comes from hearing and responding to your Word. I love you, Lord. In Jesus’ name. Amen.