The Lord forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! (1 Samuel 26:11)


David could have killed Saul at least twice. So why didn’t he take these opportunities to rid himself of his fiercest enemy? David was a great warrior who had killed thousands, he wasn’t afraid of killing. David loved and served the Lord. The Lord had anointed Saul king – he was David’s king. Regicide is a serious business but even more serious, in David’s mind, was his respect for the Lord, his God.
It is extremely tempting to take matters into our own hands when our very lives are threatened. Saul was relentless and ruthless in his pursuit of David. He was obsessed with killing him. But when David had the chance to kill Saul he chose instead to demonstrate his respect and love for his King. He hoped Saul would relent when he saw David’s loyalty. He trusted that God would keep him safe and left it up to God to deal with Saul.


1 Samuel 26:5-12 NLT

David slipped over to Saul’s camp one night to look around. Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of his army, were sleeping inside a ring formed by the slumbering warriors. “Who will volunteer to go in there with me?” David asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother. “I’ll go with you,” Abishai replied. So David and Abishai went right into Saul’s camp and found him asleep, with his spear stuck in the ground beside his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying asleep around him. “God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time!” Abishai whispered to David. “Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won’t need to strike twice!” “No!” David said. “Don’t kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord’s anointed one? Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. The Lord forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed! But take his spear and that jug of water beside his head, and then let’s get out of here!” So David took the spear and jug of water that were near Saul’s head. Then he and Abishai got away without anyone seeing them or even waking up, because the Lord had put Saul’s men into a deep sleep.


I hope that in the years ahead I might learn to trust the Lord my God enough to treat those who wrong me with the loyalty, love and respect that God himself would offer them. I want to be like David who fought with great effect for his king yet maintained respect and obedience to God. He served God and king and country. David was loved by his people because he was loved by God who made him successful in all he did. His success was founded on his faith in the lord. I pray that I might always remember that so I can always know the right thing to do when temptation calls me to take matters into my own hands.

Today’s readings:

1 Samuel 26:1-28:25, John 11:1-54, Psalms 117:1-2, Proverbs 15:22-23


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