03/29/16 – 435
1 Samuel 23:13-18 So David and his men, about six hundred in number, left Keilah and kept moving from place to place. When Saul was told that David had escaped from Keilah, he did not go there.
14 David stayed in the wilderness strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him, but God did not give David into his hands.
15 While David was at Horesh in the Desert of Ziph, he learned that Saul had come out to take his life. 16 And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 17 “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this.” 18 The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.
This would be the last time the two friends saw each other in this life. A sad parting, to be sure. It seems like so much more could have been accomplished if Saul had just stepped out of the way, and allowed it to happen naturally, doesn’t it? But then it often seems like that in life. One person with a wrong attitude in the wrong position can impede a remarkable amount of good works and progress.
I think of workers who undermine coworkers plans that would be beneficial to everyone simply because it wasn’t their idea, and they didn’t want someone else to get the credit. The potential cost or risk doesn’t seem to matter at all. Saul put the entire kingdom at risk by using the army to chase down David, who was never a threat to the people in any way.
Deep in the desert of Maon, if you follow the shore of the Dead Sea, you will eventually come to a very small stream that flows from the hills into the sea. If you follow the stream about a mile or so to it’s source, you’ll find yourself at a beautiful pool of water, surrounded by a few trees and plants, hidden from the desert by sheer rock walls on 3 sides. This place is called En Gedi. In these walls are 2 large caverns, the lower one of which is now hidden by hanging vegetation.
It was probably this cave in which David and his men were hiding when Saul came to the oasis and camped for the night. To prove that he was no threat to Saul, David waited until everyone was asleep (apparently even the sentries), snuck up to the sleeping Saul, and cut the tassel off of the corner of his robe. When he returned to the cave, David called out to wake Saul and showed him what he had done, basically saying ‘See? I could have killed you if I wanted to!’
There is so much to be learned from this story, I really don’t want to rush it. For today, let’s pray about those ‘Saul-like’ people in our own lives. Ask the Holy Spirit to help us learn from this story ways of dealing with them that we don’t know or haven’t tried. Maybe just having the chance for revenge doesn’t mean it’s the best way to eliminate the problem. What would the Spirit have you do?