Saul returns from chasing off the Philistines bringing 3,000 men to hunt David and his men. He goes into a cave to use the restroom; into the very cave that is hiding David and his men! David sneaks up behind Saul and instead of killing him, cuts off a piece of his robe. Immediately David feels badly about even this small attack on Saul and does not allow his men to kill Saul. When Saul leaves the cave, David comes out behind him and shows him the piece of his robe, pay homage, and call upon God to judge between the actions of the two men. Saul is overcome and weeps, sharing that he indeed knows that David will become king. He recognizes that while David is doing good, Saul is repaying him with evil. Saul leaves, and David returns to his stronghold.
Saul, the Philistines, the 3,000 chosen men of Saul, David, David’s men, the Lord
Verse 17 “He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil.”
Verse 20-22 “And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. Swear to me therefore by the Lord that you will not cut off my offspring after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father’s house.” And David swore this to Saul. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.”
Genesis 21:23 “Now therefore swear to me here by God that you will not deal falsely with me or with my descendants or with my posterity, but as I have dealt kindly with you, so you will deal with me and with the land where you have sojourned.” And Abraham said, “I will swear.”” (Abraham and Abimelech)
2 Samuel 21:7 “But the king spared Mephibosheth, the son of Saul’s son Jonathan, because of the oath of the Lord that was between them, between David and Jonathan the son of Saul.”
This chapter speaks to the character of David, that he holds respect for the office of the king even when the king is pursuing and attempting to murder him. In addition, Saul again shows how little he knows of David. David would not kill Jonathan, Saul’s son, in any circumstance. Saul only has eyes for the power he has as king, and doesn’t realize that David will be king, but is not stealing the position. David is leaving it in God’s hands, while Saul is grasping at it himself.
Since my Bible didn’t seem to grab the Gospel connection in these cross references, I did a little digging today beyond my usual. What I see happening here is overcoming evil with good. David has God on his side, so he has nothing to fear. Therefore, he has faith that God will take care of it, and David need not put Saul’s life into his own hands.
Matthew 5:38-45 “”You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
In David we find an example of this very action. Jesus is not coming to cast aside old laws, but to help us see that God has not changed in all those years, we just chose a fleshly way to handle things. Here, Jesus is sharing that the better way comes from faith in God, a lack of fear in what man can do to us. When we are not afraid, we are able to follow these commands, and know that the pain lasts only in this life, and our true eternal lives will have no pain or tears. And maybe we will even have some people with us there who we were able to love when they didn’t “deserve” it.
Romans 12:17-21 “Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
My mom used to use that expression about heaping burning coals on heads all the time. Prayer is a powerful weapon against the enemy, and the enemy has hold of a lot of people. We are hoping to help others escape the fire to Jesus. We must continue to look and run toward God. We have been called to a higher purpose, and it is the most important one in the world, to love God and keep His commandments.
Jesus in the Old Testament
The comments in my Bible cover chapters 24—26, which I thought was a little much to read. Therefore, we will put a pause on this section until we finish reading chapter 26.
*Note: I am using the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible for the Jesus in the Old Testament section, so these are paraphrases and quotes from the commentary with my own ideas sprinkled in.
Thank you for reading. I am excited to hear your key verses, observations, and thoughts! Please take a moment to leave a comment to share them with us.
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