David heard the approaching army before he could see them. He entered the cave behind his men. “Quickly, go as far back in the cave as you can. If they look in here we don’t want them to see anything but dirt.”
They filed back and settled in.
The army stopped outside. David turned and faced his men. “I don’t want anybody to cough or sneeze. Don’t even shuffle your feet. Not a sound until they leave.”
The anger in Saul’s voice became louder. “I am perfectly capable of taking care of my own needs. I’m not a child. I’m the king of Israel. What are you going to do? Wipe me when I’m done. Just wait here. I desire some privacy. I’ll be fine.”
He continued muttering as he entered the cave and squatted down at the edge of the sun light. “Sometimes they treat me as if I’ve lost my mind. Why can’t they see the importance of the mission? Why don’t they just trust me?…”
Joab whispered in David’s ear. “The LORD has delivered your enemy into your hand. Go, and do to him as you please.”
David pulled out his knife and carefully walked up behind Saul. The king continued his tirade. David grasped a section of Saul’s robe that was bunched up and sliced a piece off. He backed to his men as silently as he could.
Joab’s mouth hung open when David returned. Saul was still carrying on his monologue.
David stared at the cloth in his hand. “How can I harm the king? He’s established by God to rule. It’s not my place to end his reign. Only God can set that time.”
Saul shuffled out of the cave. “He’s rumored to have 600 men. Does anybody believe that many people can fit in one of these caves. I told them I’d be all right…”
David paused before his feet pulled him to the entrance of the cave. He stopped just outside. “My Lord the king.”
Saul spun around.
David bowed to the ground, then stood. “Why do you believe those who tell you I wish to harm you? It is not in me to do such a thing to the LORD’s anointed. I am to serve you, and so I shall.”
David held up the rag in his hand. “Today the LORD delivered you into my hand. This is all I could do. This piece of your robe is proof of my guilt to the LORD and you.”
Saul grabbed his robe and saw where a wedge of material was now missing.
“I have nothing against you. You are my king by the LORD’s choosing. Why do you hunt me as a dog? As God is my witness I will not lay a hand against you. May He avenge me for anything I have done and deliver me from you.”
Saul stood still. “David, my son, is that really you?”
Sobs heaved Saul’s body. “Why? You…you are the more righteous man. How could you let me live? An enemy would have been killed just now. You will surely be the next king. Promise me you won’t end my line when you take the throne.”
David smiled. “How could I do such a thing? I will care for your offspring, my Lord.”
Saul turned away. “What are you men doing here? Let’s go home.”
David’s men filed out of the cave. “Can we go home, too?”
David shook his head. “He’ll be back. Let’s find our wives. That’s where our home is now.”
Talk about a test of allegiance. I’d say David passed this test with flying colors.
There had never been a better opportunity for David to end is running and begin his reign as Israel’s king than this instance.
What do you think would have happened if David had walked out of that cave carrying Saul’s head in his hand?
I think the troupes would have either bowed in allegiance to him or taken off running, probably both.
What man in his right mind wouldn’t take advantage of that moment to advance his career? A man after God’s own heart, that’s who.
This was a definite heart-check time for David. He could step in to speed God’s timetable up or continue to wait on God’s timing for his future. His character dazzled here.
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I see a few traits we can all try to emulate from David.
- Patience: David knew Saul was a poor leader. Even if David didn’t feel ready for the kingship now he likely felt he could still do a better job than the man in that present position.
- Trust: David had seen God work in his life in so many ways up to this point. He trusted God to set the time for him to become the anointed king of God’s chosen people in His time.
- Faith: David never asked to be anointed. He knew that was God’s call. His role was to believe God knew what He was up to . David believed the throne would be his eventually.
How many things in your life do you wish God would speed up the timing of?
How often have you wished for a different leader than you have now? I’m not talking just the leader of your country. It could be the leader of your household, church or work place.
How have you tried to manipulate events, people or outcomes in your life to get things to go your way?
Remember David in this cave the next time you want to take on the role of judge.
God has a plan and a timetable. Trust Him to work it all out.
His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are much higher than our thoughts.
There are a lot of things occurring in this world I don’t want God to permit, but He does.
This spiritual war is nearing the end and getting fierce.
Wait on God. Trust His heart. Believe He is in control.
Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus.
I’ll see you later. Wade