1 Samuel 24:1-22
Restraint toward Saul

Saul’s men returned from fighting the Philistines and pursued David once again.  Saul took 3,000 men with him to where David was staying in En Gedi.  When Saul unknowingly entered a cave where David was hiding with his men, David’s men saw this as an opportunity from God to deal with the enemy.   The men urged David to move up behind Saul and cut off a corner of his robe.

This may seem innocent to us today but to cut a king’s robe could be seen as open rebellion in David’s time.  David was troubled with guilt.  God guided David and he was conscience-stricken of the dishonor he had shown God and Saul.  He rebuked his men and would not allow them to attack Saul.

Saul’s men and David’s men had advised each one to kill the other.  Both groups felt they were right.  Both sought revenge.  Both were guilty of trying to make God’s Word fit with what they wanted.  God guided David to repent and do the next right thing.  David depended on God instead of taking matters into his own hands.  God guided David to be humble before Saul.  He used the piece of robe to show his loyalty.  All this convicted Saul.  Saul wept and confessed that David was more righteous than he and then returned to his home.

Like David, God is guiding us to full dependence on Him.  God’s guidance often begins with conviction of sin.  Will we humble our self  before God, turn from sin and ask for  His help to do the next right thing?  We can depend on God for the strength this will require.
Saul chose pride over peace with God.  But David learned to depend on God.  God was faithful to David.  He gave David strength and guidance in every situation.. We too must ask God to help us depend on Him.  Then we watch for His faithful provision of strength and guidance to show us the way through.

“Surely God is my help: the LORD is the one who sustains me”  Psalm 54:4
—- Mary Mauderer

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