Handed an Opportunity
1 Samuel 24:1-4
Verse 2 So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
David has gone on to the En Gedi to hide and Saul has finished dealing with the most recent Philistine invasion and is once again ready to find David and take away any possibility of his becoming the next king of God’s people. He is so concerned about David and his possible future that the king gathers three thousand men to join him in the hunt.
David has six hundred men with him, which means that this rag-tag army is looking at five king’s men to every one of them. This may have made David’s ranks a bit nervous had they not been witnessing God’s protection of them throughout the time they have been with David. Having to spread out amongst the caves along this shore area of the Dead Sea, they may have thought about the stories of Gideon and his 300 men against the Midianites. The men with Gideon had spread out to appear like a larger army than they were (Judges 7).
With David and his men scattered through all the various caves in the area the fact that Saul chose the very cave David was hiding in had to be a “God working in the details” thing. Saul didn’t know that David was hiding in the way back of that particular cave and David had no idea the king would choose this very cave to relieve himself.
There are varying understandings to what it really means that he was there to relieve himself. Some commentators say that he went in there for an afternoon nap saying that the covering of his feet, spoken of in the original Hebrew, meant that he covered himself to sleep. Others interpret the covering of the feet as the term used when a person’s undergarment was lowered, covering the feet, while they crouched for a bowel movement. No matter the situation the king was busy attending to his own needs.
The men with David see the opportunity for ending the running. They remind David of what the Lord had promised him. David decides against killing the king because he too was anointed as a king of God’s people. David knew that to kill the king, even though he had the perfect opportunity, would not be God glorifying. To please the Lord, David needed to spare the king’s life and dignity. The best way to save both of those things was to do something that would prove the situation had happened without any injury to the man. A robe sample was all that was needed.
Making It Personal
When is a time in your life when you felt smaller than the obstacle you were facing? Was it harder to trust God in the face of the obstacle? When you are in a scary situation do you find it harder to think about what God would have you do?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever felt too small or young to do something? Did feeling small or young make feel afraid? Who helps you feel less scared?
Father, thank You for opportunities we have to show we rely on You and Your ways. Help us to remember to obey You even when we are feeling we are in the heat of the battle. In Jesus’ name, amen.