1 Samuel 24: What does David show us about loyalty?
What is the strong reason that prevents David from killing vulnerable King Saul?
David shows he is a man after God’s own heart by having compassion on his enemies. Saul continues to pursue David, but this time David gets the upper hand. David and his men are hiding in a cave when Saul chooses to come into that very cave to relieve himself. David’s men rightly see this as the Lord delivering Saul to David.
Even though Saul is unjust and vengeful, David will not kill him because he is the Lord’s anointed. Instead, David cuts off a piece of Saul’s robe. As Saul leaves the cave, David bows before him, calls him king, and shows that he could have killed him but refrained.
David is not ignoring Saul’s sins against him, but leaves Saul’s punishment to God. “May the Lord be our judge and decide between us.”
Saul is touched by David’s compassion. He confesses his own sin, admits David’s righteousness, and even agrees that David will be the next king. He asks David to swear an oath that he will not wipe out Saul’s family once he becomes king. David gives his oath.
What Saul does not do is give his own oath to stop pursuing David.
What is one important principle you learn from this story of David and Saul? What do you like and not like about the story? What is the Lord saying to us through this story of David’s loyalty to the anointing of God on leaders, even when they are enemies.
God of love, give us the strength to love our enemies.
DR. GARY HOLLOWAY
Gary Holloway is Executive Director of the World Convention. Holding degrees from Freed-Hardeman, Harding, The University of Texas, and Emory University, he has written or edited thirty books, including (with Douglas Foster) Renewing God’s World: A Concise Global History of the Stone-Campbell Movement from ACU Press. He is married to Deb Rogers Holloway.