Warrior. Poet. King. Pt. 2 David and Saul

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Warrior. Poet. King
Pt. 2 David and Saul
1        Samuel 24:1-22

We’ve started going through the story of David. We’re giving his story a few articles, because there is so much for us gain from it. We’re specifically reading through the stories of his relationships. Last week was the story of David and Goliath. As you read, be sure to remember who is who. David represents God, Goliath represents the overwhelming sin in our lives, and the scared, helpless soldiers represent us.

Do you remember how David’s story begins with him being anointed as the new king-to-be? Keep this in mind as we go through the timeline of what happened next. David had killed Goliath. So Saul brings David to live in his palace. He loves David, and accepts him as part of his family and gives him responsibilities in the military. But something starts happening. David is extremely successful and Saul promotes him to the status of general; both a social and political status of honor. And he starts winning the hearts of the Israelites. The people start cheering for David and Saul notices those cheers are getting louder than his cheers. (I Samuel 18:6-9)

On top of this growing jealousy, Saul had this nagging memory about how David was prophesied and anointed to be the next king, and this started driving him crazy. It escalated to the point where Saul became unwilling to let the throne be passed on to David. He was denying David his rightful place on the throne! And this was the beginning of a dramatic saga of betrayal, assassinations, and corruption. Saul’s jealousy, anger, and self-righteousness flared up so violently that in the very next verses he attempted to kill David. (I Samuel 18:10-11)

This actually happened twice! And David eventually took a hint and went on the run.

There were soldiers in David’s authority that were still loyal to him. So several hundred soldiers flee out of the country with David also. And Saul pursued them! At this point, Saul is on a rampage. He’s killing everyone who stands in his way; entire cities including, priests, women, and children! The dude is nuts!

Eventually, David and his men find themselves living in caves. When Saul heard about it he started scouring the hillsides looking in all of the caves. At one point, nature calls and Saul has to use the restroom. And so, while on a break from hunting for David, he goes into a cave to relieve himself. Lo and behold, it was the very cave that David and his men were hiding in! (Talk about embarrassing.) Saul does his business, completely unaware that dozens of men were hiding behind him. (1 Samuel 24:1-4)

During this awkward moment, a few of David’s soldiers get the idea, “Let’s take this guy out! We’ll never get a chance like this again!” But David says no, and actually chooses to spare Saul’s life. Instead, he gives him grace and mercy. (1 Samuel 24:5-7) Let me give a quick definition of these two words.“Mercy= not getting what you deserve” “Grace= getting what you didn’t deserve”.

Here’s the point: I am Saul. I am self-righteous, arrogant, angry, and insecure. In my self-righteousness, I have attempted to deny Jesus His rightful place on the throne. And if you were to be honest, I think you would say the same thing. But Jesus, our David, spared our lives and has returned grace to our violence.

In the movie Hacksaw Ridge, Desmond Doss is a conscientious objector, meaning he was against the war. Nevertheless, he feels compelled to join the army as a medic. His reason as he said was, “With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don't seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together.” He joined with the promise that he wouldn’t have to touch a gun or be combat trained. The problem was, his commanding officers and fellow soldiers didn’t like that. If he wouldn’t fight there, then he wouldn’t fight on the battle field, and wouldn’t be able to save them. So they took every opportunity to force him to fight. At one point they even jumped him while he was asleep and beat him. Still, he continued his training in every other area. The entire climax of the movie tells the story of how Desmond went to battle with his battalion, and acted heroically in spite of being called Doss the Coward. By the end of the night, he had saved 75 wounded soldiers, without firing a single shot.

Desmond Doss illustrates Jesus giving grace to those who have been unkind, cruel, and even violent to Him. And it’s the same thing we are commanded to do in Matthew 5:43-44

What are we to do then? Because of the Gospel of God’s grace on us, who have been cruel and unkind to God, we are to extend that grace to others. Not so we can be like David, but so we can be like Christ. Did you know the Bible says in Romans 2:4 that it is God’s goodness that leads to repentance? It’s not God’s wrath that causes people to turn to Him. It’s not His justice, wisdom, or sovereignty. It’s His goodness.

That’s what happened with David and Saul. After Saul left the cave, David followed him out and said, “Saul, look here. I had your life in my hands. I could have killed you, but I spared you. Just to prove it, here is a piece of your robe that I cut off. I will not kill you.”

And here is Saul’s response to David’s grace. I Samuel 24:16-22 As soon as David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said, “Is this your voice, my son David?” And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. 17 He said to David, “You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil. 18 And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. 19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe? So may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. 20 And now, behold, I know that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand. 21 Swear to me therefore by the Lord that you will not cut off my offspring after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father's house.” 22 And David swore this to Saul. Then Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

David’s goodness brought Saul to repentance. When we’ve been treated with evil, we are to return grace, because we are like Saul, and God has given us grace. And just as God’s goodness has shown us His beauty, mercy, and grace, we too can share that with those who’ve hurt betrayed us. Who knows, it just might bring about their repentance as it brought about yours.

James Robinson has been the Youth Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Grand Prairie, TX since June 2014. He was drawn to work with students because he believes teenagers are in a highly moldable stage of life where it is absolutely imperative they allow the Gospel to identify who they are. As a Student Pastor, James says he has the inexpressible joy of regularly speaking that life-shaping Gospel into the students' lives.