SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- David and his men were hiding in caves in the wilderness of En-gedi. These caves are still around today, and some are large enough to house thousands of people.
- Saul could not see David and his men, who were deep in the cave's shadows, but David and his men could see Saul, who was towards the cave's opening where it was sunlit.
- David's men tell him (verse 4) that this is an opportunity from God to kill Saul.
- David sneaks up close enough to Saul to cut off a piece of his robe, but chooses not to kill him. Saul had been appointed king by God himself (see 1 Samuel 9:15-17) so David did not feel permission to kill him.
- David calls Saul his "father" (verse 11) because David had married one of Saul's daughters.
- Saul shows some remorse (verse 16) for hunting and trying to kill David, but it is temporary. We will see that he quickly goes back to trying to kill David.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- David knew that God had promised he would be king. David had an opportunity to bring God's plan into reality by killing Saul, but he chooses not to. Why? It's not just about the ends. The means by which we get there is also important. Doing the wrong thing to get a right result doesn't make the wrong right. David didn't have peace about killing Saul, so he doesn't. He leaves God's plan in God's hands, trusting that He will find a way.
- The Bible says that we can get wisdom from consulting with other people, but not always. David's men encourage him to do something he is sure is wrong. Sometimes friends can give wrong advice because it seems right to them. We need to seek wisdom, but should always weight it against what we're sure is true of God.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Is there any place in your life where you may be taking the wrong path, even if it's to get to the right destination? Is there something you know needs to happen, but you're rushing it instead of trusting God that He can make it happen in His timing?
- Maybe you want to get married someday, and so you're open to dating people who don't share your faith, even though God says not to. You feel like being married would be a good thing, so you're rushing and ignoring God's wisdom to get there...
- Or maybe you want to move ahead in your career, which would probably be a good thing, but you're doing some immoral things to get there...
- When you need wisdom, who are godly people, who love you but love God even more, and who know the Bible, that you can turn to? How can you weigh their advice not against what you want for you, but against what God wants for you?