THE SERVANT GENERAL
SAUL AND DAVID – 2
January 24, 2020
1 Samuel 24:3-21
As we saw yesterday, Saul was trying to kill David. He continued
trying to do so, even as both of them went about battling
with the Philistines. This time Saul took a force of 3,000
of Israel’s best warriors to go after David. David had
an opportunity to kill Saul when he was alone inside a cave
but refrained from doing so. David said to his men, “The
Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the
Lord’s anointed, to lay a hand on him, for he is the
Lord’s anointed.” (1 Sm 24:7).
Saul was resentful and envious of David, feared him, and wanted
to kill him, even as David continued to serve Israel well.
We saw how an evil spirit from God had already gone into Saul.
He had already lost God’s anointing. Saul himself knew
that his time was up and it was now David’s time. He
said to David, “I know that you will certainly become
king and that the kingship over Israel shall come into your
possession” (1 Sm 24:21).
Saul had lost God’s anointing, but David, who had just
cause to go against him, insisted that Saul was still the
Lord’s anointed. Was Saul anointed or not? To God he
no longer was, but to David he still was. And until God would
actually remove Saul as king, it was not David’s call
to say he was no longer anointed.
What does this teach us as holy warriors? In the army of God,
there are leaders and their subordinates. There are leaders
who do wrong. But as long as they remain as leaders, it is
incumbent upon their subordinates to continue to respect their
position and be in submission to them. That is how an army
remains strong, united, cohesive, and ultimately effective
does this say about holy warriors in regard to their relationship
with their leaders who are less than ideal, or with whom they
might have legitimate gripes?
They should not speak out against their leaders in the presence
of others, in effect slandering them. “Thus I will
not lay a hand on you.” (1 Sm 24:14b).
should not rebel against their leaders or plot against them.
“Now see and be convinced that I plan no harm and
no rebellion.” (1 Sm 24:12b).
should not begin to form factions with which to oppose their
leaders.They should actually be the ones to stamp down dissent
and keep negative sentiments against leaders from growing
and spreading. “With these words David restrained
his men and would not permit them to attack Saul.”
(1 Sm 24:8a).
But can we just let leaders who act wrongly or treat us unjustly
go without being corrected or challenged? No. All leaders,
no matter how high in position, are accountable to God. But
among ourselves, we have ways to address such issues.
first move of one who is aggrieved is to take up the matter
directly with the person concerned, even if that person is
his leader. This is what David did. He asked Saul, “Why
do you listen to those who say, ‘David is trying to
harm you’?” (1 Sm 24:10). Now the subordinate
should continue to show respect to his leader. David referred
to Saul as “My lord the king!” (1 Sm 24:9a), and
when Saul looked at him, “David bowed, his face to the
ground in homage” (1 Sm 24:9b). At the same time, even
with due respect, the subordinate should speak plainly and
boldly. David told Saul, “May the Lord judge between
me and you. May the Lord exact justice from you in my case.
…. What is the king of Israel attacking? What are you
pursuing? …. May the Lord see this, defend my cause,
and give me justice against you!” (1 Sm 24:13a,15a,16b).
the grace and mercy of God, perhaps the matter will then be
resolved. When we take a posture of humility, respect and
submission, rather than confrontation or hostility, hopefully
the other person will be touched. Even Saul admitted to David,
“You are more in the right than I am. You have treated
me graciously, while I have treated you badly.” (1 Sm
if the matter remains unsettled, other leaders can be asked
to intervene. And if the matter still remains unsettled, one
can just forbear and leave the matter in the hands of God,
whom we all serve under. This is a way to prevent dissent
and strife from spreading, thus weakening the army. David,
when he fled from Saul, prayed, “Have mercy on me, God,
have mercy on me. In you I seek refuge. In the shadow of your
wings I seek refuge till harm pass by.” (Ps 57:2). In
this we fully trust in the love of God and His power to make
changes He deems fit. “I call to God Most High, to God
who provides for me.” (Ps 57:3). At the same time, we
pray for the other person and ask for God’s justice.
“May God send help from heaven to save me, shame those
who trample upon me. May God send fidelity and mercy.”
So, in the face of affliction from leaders, maintain respect
for their position, respond not in kind, talk things through,
and at the end of the day, trust in God and His justice. Such
a posture is that of a true Christian, and is especially crucial
for an army. We as holy warriors engage in spiritual war,
and we have only one enemy, which is the evil one. We are
all on the same side, the side of God.
all have been summoned and appointed by Jesus. Just as with
the twelve apostles, “that they might be with him and
he might send them forth to preach and to have authority to
drive out demons” (Mk 3:14-15). This is our task as
holy warriors. We are an evangelistic and missionary army,
and we are sent to break the dominion of the enemy over peoples
and the world.
there will always be bad soldiers in the army, and even bad
leaders. Even in Jesus’ core group, the members of which
he personally selected, there was one who did grave wrong.
He was “Judas Iscariot who betrayed him.” (Mk
3:19). There too will be the enemy within in our ranks. In
dealing with them, we must always maintain the moral high
in dealing with leaders, subordinates should look to the example
of David, who said, “I will not raise a hand against
my master, for he is the Lord’s anointed.” (1