“The Lord rewards everyone for their righteousness and faithfulness. The Lord delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the Lord ’s anointed. As surely as I valued your life today, so may the Lord value my life and deliver me from all trouble.” (1 Samuel 26:23-24 NIV)
A wise man once told me that repetition is crucial to learning. Although I heard him the first time, he told me again. And again.
King Saul had plenty of opportunities to learn the vital lesson of daring to oppose what the Lord had appointed. His quest against David should have been a straightforward victory. The forces of Israel versus the ragtag disgruntled group following a former shepherd. The odds should have been heavily against the ex-shepherd. Yet here he and his associate were going as far as being able to be in a position to once again kill the man who was hunting him down. Despite 3000 men surrounding the king, David was once more urged to take advantage of the situation and allow his nemesis to be eliminated.
Thankfully, David had a different agenda. As he confronted Saul once more highlighting his deference to him and yet showing how clearly God’s favour was on him, David appealed to Saul to apply his energies to things that mattered, not launching a hunt against someone of his little standing. The honour and respect David has for the king is exemplary and once more Saul had to acknowledge not just how wrong he was, but the favour of God on the life of David.
Doing the right thing does not always make you popular or get your adversaries off your back. As long as there is the knowledge of doing what is pleasing to God, even the opponents must be put to shame in the light of that which is right.
Learning that lesson even now is not always straightforward, so whether it is in recounting episodes like this or experiencing similar episodes in our own lives, God won’t have a problem using repetition to reinforce the lesson.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden