When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.”2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Wildgoats’ Rocks. 3 And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. 4 And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 6 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.” 7 So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way.~1 Samuel 24:1-7
Saul seeks David among the “Wildgoats’ Rocks” and then just happens to pass by some sheep. Apparently, wild goats and flocks of sheep must have hung out where David sought refuge. I guess the church hasn’t changed much from Old Testament to New. Lol.
Naturally, David is among the sheep. Nature calls Saul and lands him in the very cave where David hid. Folks, you can’t make this stuff up. This actually happened! Don’t feel bad, Saul, being a long distance runner I can totally relate.
So David’s buddies try to encourage him to use this opportunity to capitalize on his own safety and slay Saul. But David knows better than to take it upon himself to do what God has promised to do for him. He cuts off a piece of Saul’s robe. Even that small act of insurgence smites his own conscience.
Talk about unexpected! I guess when God gets ready to humble a man he doesn’t play around. Just to put this whole thing in perspective, let’s recap.
Saul’s hangin’ out where the goats are and he finds sheep. God’s providence moves him into the very presence of the friend who has fought on his behalf, protected his good name, and blessed him when he was cursed – yet, that he considers his worst enemy. Just at the time when justice would have served him death and defeat, that so-called enemy he’d been fighting against for so long proves overwhelmingly merciful and spares his life generously and respectfully. David again proves himself a true friend. That true friend grieves over the encounter and keeps his army from attacking the traitor as well. Instead of receiving hell in return for hell, only a small dose of humility is dealt by David. Who do you see?
I see me. I see Jesus. Every time I run away from righteousness and truth, when I listen to the wrong advice of worldly friends, when I fight against God and make Christ my enemy, he proves himself my only true friend. His providence moves me into his presence when I least expect it. He shows mercy when I least deserve it and spares my life generously when death would be perfect justice. As he grieves and holds back the wrath of God and his holy angels against me, I often keep right on being the traitor that I am. When I finally realize what I’ve done, instead of hell, he deals only a heaping dose of humility. What a Savior!
Stop fighting your Friend, friend. Yes, Jesus will take your throne. It rightfully belongs to him, not you. But humility, not death, is what he has in mind for you.