Ziklag: Worn Out by Obedience | 1 Samuel 24:6-7 | Devotional
1 Samuel 24:6-7 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD." With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
David and his men stood in the darkness of the cave right behind King Saul. With one blow, the jealous king would be gone and David could assume the kingship for which the prophet Samuel had anointed him years before. Finally, the fugitive lifestyle he and his men had endured for almost a decade could be over. David’s men waited for him to give the word. But the leader refused.
Obedience is hard, isn’t it? For David, obedience meant that Saul would leave the cave and continue the chase. He would resume pursuing David up the mountains, down the valleys, and through the forests. Do you think David was tempted to give the signal to strike? You bet he was! But he could not lift his hand against “the anointed of the Lord.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer notes that in temptation we are left alone. Certainly, the Spirit is there with the believer and God will always provide a way to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). But we have to make the decision. Will we trust God or not? Will we depend on his strength or not? Will we choose obedience, even when it is hard, or will we choose the path of least resistance and give in? Obedience is hard. What will you do when you are alone in temptation?
Father, thank you for the promise that no temptation is new or unique, and that you will always provide a way out. When we find ourselves alone in temptation, give us the strength to turn to you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.