Jan. 21. Saul Spared

I Sam. 24:1-22; Ps. 57:1-11; 142:1-7

After Saul had returned from following the Philistines, someone reported to him that David was in the Wilderness of En Gedi. That area was an oasis on the west shore of the Dead Sea.

As Saul was inside the cave in which David happened to be hiding, David had an excellent opportunity to kill the king. Instead of taking the life of “the Lord’s anointed,” he only cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

Later, after David had confronted Saul with the piece of his garment, the king wept and stated, “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil…” Saul affirmed to David that he would, indeed be king of Israel.

New kings usually killed the families of the previous king in order to prevent future uprisings. Saul pled with David to spare his descendants. They then made a covenant and David swore that he would not cut off Saul’s descendants nor destroy his name from his father’s house. However, not fully trusting Saul, David remained in the Wilderness of En Gedi.

David, the Psalmist continued to write about his frustrations and fears while protecting himself from Saul. He used colorful words to describe his troubles. Even though not deserved, God’s mercy covers His children as a bird covers her fledglings under her wings. David’s enemies had prepared elaborate methods to capture, but through God’s mercy he could be saved from them. The poet concluded his Psalm by praising God for His deliverance. He exalted God above the heavens and earth.

In his next Psalm, David expressed some of the same fears of his earlier writings. Without God, one is overwhelmed within his despair. With God, who knows one’s path, there is deliverance from persecution and a strong refuge for salvation. In recognizing His blessings, David praised God.