Prayer Focus: China, PRC

Bible Reading: 1 Samuel 21-24, Psalm 91


And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’ ” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.  And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.  He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the LORD’s anointed.”  (1 Sa 24:4–6 ESV)

See, my father, see the corner of your robe in my hand. For by the fact that I cut off the corner of your robe and did not kill you, you may know and see that there is no wrong or treason in my hands. I have not sinned against you, though you hunt my life to take it.  May the LORD judge between me and you, may the LORD avenge me against you, but my hand shall not be against you.  As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes wickedness.’ But my hand shall not be against you. (1 Sa 24:11–13 ESV)


Saul wanted to kill David and David was on the run from Saul.  In the caves of Engedi, David had his chance to exact revenge on Saul, to kill his enemy, but he didn’t.  David’s sense of honor would not let him harm God’s anointed; the one God had put in place to be king.  When he confronts Saul and tells him what he did (and didn’t do) Saul repents and they make a truce and a covenant.

My gut reaction to this (my sin nature) reads this and I think that David would have been justified killing Saul.  It was self-defense.  I can’t quite figure out why David’s honor stops him here, but it doesn’t stop him with Bathsheba, or having her husband killed.  But just because David doesn’t always do the right thing doesn’t mean that he did the wrong thing regarding Saul.


Way back when, in high school, I remember friends saying to me, “You’re only in trouble if you get caught.”  And I’ve met kids recently who still believe that.  Maybe honor is a lost art.  I certainly wouldn’t hold myself up as an example because I know of too many times when I wasn’t honorable.  But when we’re looking in the Bible for examples what we often get are examples of what not to do.  David’s actions here are a good example of what we should do; we should cultivate a sense of honor.

How do you cultivate a sense of honor toward those people who oppose to you, or aggravate you, or even just annoy you?  I don’t know how to figure out who the Lord’s anointed is today  because we don’t have anything as clear cut as God making someone king.  But I do know that Jesus came to save the world.  Everyone is important to Jesus.

So, I would look at this way: God created me and I believe the language “he formed me in my mother’s womb” is more than just poetic.  There is real intent there.  That means that God formed those “enemies” of mine as well and because they were created by God I should show them honor.  Maybe they still need Jesus, but I can’t show them Jesus if I’m dishonorable to them.


Lord, it’s a lot easier to hate my enemies than to love them.  It’s a lot easier to write people off then it is to give them one more chance.  But I was your enemy and you saved me.  I sin again and again and you keep giving me grace.  Work that spirit within me so that I can do the same for others.  Teach me to honor You and the people you put in my path.  Amen.