November 19, 2021
Scripture: Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’S anointed.” 1 Samuel 24:4b-6 ESV
Observation: In this chapter, we read of Saul’s continued pursuit of David’s life—this time in the wilderness of Engedi. Meanwhile, David manages (with God’s help) to avoid Saul’s evil machinations. Here, we read that David, having hidden deep within in a cave with his men, spots Saul relieving himself at the front of the cave. David’s men encourage him to end Saul’s insane pursuit of David’s life by killing Saul in his vulnerable position. David instead cuts off the corner of Saul’s robe, which he had laid aside (verse 5 above). After Saul leaves and returns to his camp, David calls out to Saul from the edge of the cave and holds up the corner of Saul’s robe to declare his innocence and Saul’s wrongdoing (verses 9-15).
Takeaway: As David pleas for Saul to stop his insane pursuit of David’s life, he makes a clear statement about the removal of corrupt leadership within the family of God: it is not our place to take down those leaders who are acting unfairly toward us. Like David, we need to confront our leaders regarding their sin, but we must never take matters into our own hands because vengeance is the Lord’s (Romans 12:19). In due time, God will either reveal their blind spots or, if they are intentionally acting according to their sinful desires, he will expose their hidden sins and remove them from their leadership position. Our role is to respectfully confront our leaders, pray for their repentance, and wait on the Lord. In due time, David assumed his rightful position as Israel’s next king when Saul lost his life in an ill-advised battle with the Philistines.
Prayer: Father God, when those in leadership positions over us persecute us, please grant us the strength, humility, and grace to respectfully confront them of their sinful behavior while resisting the temptation to take matters into our own hands and seek revenge. Amen.
Rev. Gordon Green, M.Div., M.A. Counseling