David questioned him, “How is it that you were not afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” Then David summoned one of his servants and said, “Come here and kill him!” The servant struck him, and he died. For David had said to the Amalekite, “Your blood is on your own head because your own mouth testified against you by saying, ‘I killed the Lord’s anointed.’” 2 Samuel 1:14-16
Do you know the principles by which you live? Are you consistent with what you believe? There were times throughout the book of 1 Samuel David “refused to stretch out [his] hand against the Lord’s anointed,” though Saul seemed to have been delivered into his hand. (see 1 Samuel 24 and 26) He absolutely would not take the life of someone God had placed in a position of power even though he stood as an obstacle to his own ascension. Talk about principled!
After years of fleeing his nemesis, word finally arrives that Saul has been killed and the man claiming he had taken the king’s life brings the news to David with expectancy. Most waiting kings would have awarded such a deed. But not David. He is furious. Though he had every right as an anointed king himself, David wanted no part in in shortening Saul’s reign. He left that to God. David’s orders were swift and sure - kill the man who would dare to take the life of one God has anointed!
Though our lives look very different from David’s there’s something in the principles that David held that we ourselves can learn from. The first application we can apply is that though his principles nearly cost him his life on more than one occasion, David stood by his beliefs. Be sure of what you believe. James, the half brother of Jesus, tells us “the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6b)
We can also understand that when God puts someone in authority it is only in God’s timing that person should be removed. David refused to short circuit the reign of Saul. In our day and age that means you take your responsibilities as a citizen to research candidates and vote in legally held elections. And even when your candidate doesn’t win, you pray for the leader who has been placed in office - both for his/her salvation and for his/her leadership. This is a good to remember given there is an election this coming Tuesday.