- David hiding in strongholds of En-gedi
- Saul just so happens to enter the same cave to relieve himself
- David sneaks over and cuts off a corner of Saul’s robe
- This seemingly insignificant act begins to bother David’s conscience because he realizes he’s not this kind of king — He doesn’t cut corners.
- David has allowed this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get revenge on Saul to slip through his hands.
1 Samuel 24:7–8 NLT
So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul. After Saul had left the cave and gone on his way, David came out and shouted after him, “My lord the king!” And when Saul looked around, David bowed low before him.
- We can respect a person’s position without agreeing with them
Romans 13:1 NLT - Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God.
- The level of respect we exhibit is the level of respect we command.
- David knew that once he became king, he would have to give an account for he had treated his predecessor, Saul.
- If David is to be a king that commands respect, he must now bow low in respect to Israel’s current king.
1 Samuel 24:9–13 NLT
Then he shouted to Saul, “Why do you listen to the people who say I am trying to harm you? This very day you can see with your own eyes it isn’t true. For the Lord placed you at my mercy back there in the cave. Some of my men told me to kill you, but I spared you. For I said, ‘I will never harm the king—he is the Lord’s anointed one.’ Look, my father, at what I have in my hand. It is a piece of the hem of your robe! I cut it off, but I didn’t kill you. This proves that I am not trying to harm you and that I have not sinned against you, even though you have been hunting for me to kill me. “May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds.’ So you can be sure I will never harm you.
- Quoting the old proverb, David says that if he is truly evil there would be a breadcrumb trail of evil deeds behind him.
Matthew 7:16 NLT - You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act. Can you pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
umbers 32:23 NLT - But if you fail to keep your word, then you will have sinned against the Lord, and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.
atthew 15:18–19 NLT - But the words you speak come from the heart—that’s what defiles you. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.
- What fills your heart? What trail are you leaving behind?
- What behaviors, thoughts, words, etc, fill your days?
- How would those close to you describe your behavior, words, etc?
“Living a life worthy of imitation.”
1 Samuel 24:14–15 NLT
Who is the king of Israel trying to catch anyway? Should he spend his time chasing one who is as worthless as a dead dog or a single flea? May the Lord therefore judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!”
>>> Let’s take a peek back inside the cave where David penned Psalm 57, because its hard to understand how a man on the run can be so confident. He shouts that God will rescue him from Saul’s power, but how can he be so sure?
Psalm 57:1–10 NLT
Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy! I look to you for protection. I will hide beneath the shadow of your wings until the danger passes by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who will fulfill his purpose for me. He will send help from heaven to rescue me, disgracing those who hound me. Interlude My God will send forth his unfailing love and faithfulness. I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey— whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth. My enemies have set a trap for me. I am weary from distress. They have dug a deep pit in my path, but they themselves have fallen into it. Interlude My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
This is My Confidence
Four themes that define a confident heart:
“I cry out to God Most High, who will fulfill His purpose for me.” (vs 2)
- Steadfast/Unfailing Love
“My God will send forth his unfailing (steadfast) love and faithfulness.” (vs 3)
- J.D. Greear says that, “[Christ] Got harshness and condemnation so all you would have is goodness and mercy.”
- Psalm 23:6 - Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. (ESV)
- Psalm 57:4-5 - “I am surrounded by fierce lions who greedily devour human prey—whose teeth pierce like spears and arrows, and whose tongues cut like swords. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth.”
"Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens! May your glory shine over all the earth." (vs 5)
- David has prayed for relief, but his primary prayer is for God to be exalted, whether in David’s rescue or in his pain.
“I’m confident because I am bent on the loyal love of God. I’m steadfast toward God because I know God is steadfast toward me.” (vs 7)
- David says, “I’m confident because I am bent on the loyal love of God. I’m steadfast toward God because I know God is steadfast toward me.”
- The backbone of obedience is confidence in the steadfast love of God.
1 Samuel 24:16 NLT
When David had finished speaking, Saul called back, “Is that really you, my son David?” Then he began to cry.
- Saul found himself constantly fighting against the resolve of God. He's learning that God always win.
1 Samuel 24:17–19 NLT
And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the Lord put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it. Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today.
- Isn’t this the question we’ve all been asking? Who lets their enemy get away?
1 Samuel 24:20–22 NLT
And now I realize that you are surely going to be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will flourish under your rule. Now swear to me by the Lord that when that happens you will not kill my family and destroy my line of descendants!” So David promised this to Saul with an oath. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went back to their stronghold.
- Saul now becomes the last one to authorize David, knowing nothing can stop the coming rule of David, because He is the God who fulfills His purpose for me. This is my confidence.