“Now’s your opportunity!” David’s men whispered to him. “Today the Lord is telling you, ‘I will certainly put your enemy into your power, to do with as you wish.’” So David crept forward and cut off a piece of the hem of Saul’s robe.
But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king. I shouldn’t attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul. 1 Samuel 24:4-7a
Do you ever go into situations with uncertainty and discover something that makes you think you know what God is asking you to do? That is a great sensation--to be confident in the leading of the living God in your life and decisions. What things are indicators of God’s direction to you? Does it suffice to have circumstances work in such a way that it appears that things are working out in your favor?
1 Samuel 24 can be a difficult passage to deal with. David has been running for quite some time and has had his life threatened on numerous occasions. He has asked God for deliverance. He has already been promised the throne of Israel, so he knows that is his destiny. All of a sudden he comes upon Saul and his men in a very compromising situation. David’s problems could conceivably be finished with a swift triumph over the one who has been chasing him. Doesn’t it appear that all things are lined up for the perfect relief?
Fortunately, David’s top priority is not relief and ease for himself. His number one priority is to obey and follow the living God with whom he has a real relationship. David has a healthy view of who God is and how He works. He knows what God has told him and he knows that God has a specific plan. Because he is focused on obedience rather than ease or even himself, he is able to clearly recognize that taking advantage of the situation for his own benefit would be contrary to God’s intentions.
David even carries a little bit of guilt for cutting Saul’s robe!! Really? What is wrong with that--a little warning of what could have been? It is likely that David stopped and saw that his intent and purpose for cutting Saul’s robe was an action solely focused on building his own reputation--not God’s. David was so committed to God’s purposes and God’s truth that he recognized that for a moment he had put himself ahead of that. He was repentant and led his men to the godly action rather than the easy action.
What about you? What is your priority? Do you live your life with the reputation of God as your motivation for choices? As you face your daily circumstances of life and on the field, do you make decisions on the basis of what you know to be true of God? Stay connected to the truth of God. Let it guide your actions. Who knows, you may face a decision like David and need to step back from the circumstances in order to see the real picture--beyond what the world sees as obvious.