Every time I read this scripture, I pause:
“And Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.”
I Samuel 24:22 NKJV
Background: Because of jealousy, King Saul wanted to kill David. David had done nothing wrong. He had been a loyal servant. Yet Saul partnered with the spirit of jealousy and offense and began to pursuit David’s life forcing David to leave everything behind and flee. Saul even killed the household of priest because they offered David food.
But on this day, Saul’s guard was down and David had ample opportunity to kill Saul. But he doesn’t. David refused to “touch God’s anointed.” He refused to take a shortcut to the kingdom. David did the righteous thing.
And what was David’s reward?
Saul went home. David went to a cave.
Saul went to lead a powerful army of thousands. David went to 500 men who were indebt and discontented.
Saul was celebrated. David was exiled.
Saul continued to reign. David continued to hide.
Saul sinned. David was righteous.
This outcome doesn’t seem fair. But God had not finished the script.
Your situation may seem unfair at the moment. Someone took advantage. Someone used questionable ethics to get ahead. Someone betrayed you to get ahead. Someone lied on you to disparage your character. And you, like David are tempted to take matters in your own hands. You are tempted to take a shortcut to the palace. Don’t.
David went to cave and grew closer to God.
David went to the cave and learned to lead well.
David went to the cave and learned to inquire of God.
David went to the cave and learned compassion.
David didn’t waste his cave dwelling experience.
We know how the story ends. David goes from the cave to the palace without laying a hand on Saul.
David leaves a legacy. Saul’s family line ends.
David is known for a heart after God. Saul is known for his disobedience.
Friends, if you find yourself in the cave today, don’t despair. The promises of God are yes and amen. Your current situation may seem unfair but that is only because the script is still being written. Avoid the temptation to take matters in your own hand and trust the faithfulness of God.
Refuse to take a shortcut but know your palace dwelling days are coming.