Highlights In Today's Reading:
A warning to all of what can happen once we allow "small" sins into our lives. It seems Satan takes complete control of Saul's senses as he orders the violent, inexcusable act of murdering all the priests and their families at Nob. Remember the protection of the Lord for David, who trusts God (23:2,4,10-12) and lives accordingly.
David was anointed by Samuel, the prophet of God, as the next king of Israel, but Saul intended to murder him. Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet (sleep that night) (24:2). Unknown to Saul, David and his men remained (hid) in the sides of (within) the cave (24:3).
David had an opportunity to assassinate Saul while he slept. His soldiers were convinced that God had delivered Saul into David's hands to be executed and David would be justified in killing him. But, he would not violate the Word of God that Saul had been set apart for service as the earthly representative of God on the throne of Israel (10:1). This was further expressed in the Book of Psalms: Touch not Mine anointed (Ps. 105:15).
David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily. And it came to pass afterward, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt. And he said unto his men, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing unto my master. . . . Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way. David . . . cried (shouted) after Saul, saying, My lord the king. . . . the Lord had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave . . . but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed (I Sam. 24:4-10).
God had appointed Saul as king, and, until He removed him from the throne, David was willing to patiently wait and could say to God: My times are in Thy hand (Ps. 31:15).
When our heart's desire is to please the Lord, we are often tested, but we are not to retaliate against those who have wronged us. Instead, we are to bless them and pray for them, for our Savior and Lord has said: Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you (Matt. 5:44).
Thought for Today:
Our "good intentions" will often tempt us to take matters into our own hands but it is always better to wait on the timing of God.
By David's refusal to take the kingdom by force or before the appointed time set by God (I Sam. 24:10-13). Christ refused to become King of Israel. When Jesus . . . perceived (knew) that they would come and take Him by force, to make Him a King, He departed (John 6:15).
22:4 hold =b> stronghold, safe place; 22:17 footmen =b> guards; 22:18 fell upon =b> attacked and murdered; 22:22 I have occasioned =b> I am to blame for; 23:9 practised mischief =b> planning to harm; 23:16 strengthened his hand =b> encouraged his faith; 23:22 his haunt =b> where he is hiding, subtilely =b> craftily; 23:26 compassed =b> were encircling; 24:3 sheepcotes =b> where sheep were kept; to cover his feet =b> to take a nap; 24:4 privily =b> unobserved, secretly; 24:7 stayed =b> persuaded, restrained; 24:11 skirt =b> corner; 24:19 go well away =b> get away safely.
Pray for Staff: Tammy Davis • Government Official: Rep. David Wu (OR) • Country: Guatemala (12.3 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and Indian languages • Religious freedom • 60% Catholic; 35% Protestant; 2% Animist; 1.5% Other; 1.5% None • Prayer Suggestion: Pray for safety in your travels (Rom. 1:10).
Optional Reading: Acts 9
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:9-10