Can You be like David?
Can You be like David?
When we look in 1 Samuel chapters 24, 25 and 26, we find three events in David’s life where he was a forgiving individual. These three events help us learn about forgiveness as God has placed these in relatively close proximity of each other in order to help us to better understand forgiveness.
In 1 Samuel 24:1-22 this passage deals with Saul in pursuit of David in the region of En Gedi. When Saul went into the cave to relieve himself, David and his men had hidden in the back of the same cave. David’s men urged him to kill the King, but David chose to trust God’s Providence. Many times this is very difficult for us to do. We want to give God a hand. David cut off the hem of Saul’s garment. David later regretted doing this, because the hem was symbolic of Saul’s position as God’s anointed. When Saul left the cave David called out to him and showed the hem as evidence of his innocent intentions toward the king. Whereupon Saul admitted his sin against David and confessed with his own mouth that the Lord had chosen David to be king.
In 1 Samuel 25:1-44 we find another event in David’s life. Under David’s leadership they had protected the flocks of a wealthy herdsman named Nabal – the meaning of his name is fool. They had protected his flocks from wild animals and bandits. David sent his men to ask for provisions from Nabal. Nabal angrily refused, and David threatened to kill him. The shepherds of Nabal, who had benefited from David’s protection, went to Abigail, Nabal’s wife to intercede. Abigail pleaded with David that the Lord’s anointed had no need to avenge him, because the Lord would do so. Sometimes the Lord in various ways reminds us of what He desires for us to do. David gratefully agreed and resisted the evil deed. Later Abigail became one of David’s wives.
Another event in David’s life where he spares Saul is in 1 Samuel 26:1-25. The Ziphites feared David and urged the king to pursue David into their territories – see 1 Samuel 23:19-24. When David learned of Saul’s arrival, he discovered the location of the camp. Abishai joined David in spying out the camp one night. They discovered Saul asleep near Abner the King’s bodyguard resting nearby. Abishai interpreted the occasion as God’s opportunity for David to kill the King, David rebuked, Abishai pointing out that Saul was God’s anointed. David took Saul’s spear that was stuck in the ground at the Kings head along with the king’s water jug. David left without detection because the Lord had caused Saul to fall into a deep sleep. David crossed to a distant hill and called out to awaken Abner. He challenged him that he had failed to protect God’s anointed. When Saul realized that David had taken the spear and the jug, he regretted unjustly pursuing David. He believed that because David had spared his life that the Lord would deliver David. Saul confessed a second time that David would triumph – 24:20.
The question that each of us must ask is do we, like David, trust God completely in His Providence or do we try to change things in order to better fit our situation and our desires?