Check out 1 Samuel 24. Specifically verses 1-22. Go ahead, give it a read, then come back to me.
Finished? Okay. Let me give you a brief explanation of how David had gotten to this point. As a young boy, he was chosen by God to be King, but Israel wanted Saul to be their king, so Saul was annointed by Samuel as such. Because of this, David had to wait until Saul’s reign ended for his reign to begin. But David was very popular, and Saul became jealous of David, to the point of wanting to end his life. When David heard this, he had to run to the desert, where he stayed (ran) for quite a while.
After months of running, David and Saul meet up in En-Gedi (which I like to pronounce “Anne Geddes” aka the famous baby photographer… but that must just be me). While on the hunt for David, Saul had to go potty, so he went into a cave to do so, not knowing that David and his men were hiding in the back of that cave.
This was David’s chance. One swing of his sword and he could have ended this waiting game right then and there. Success and victory was literally within his grasp. Even his friends were quoting Scripture trying to convince him to do it!
“Look, this is the day the Lord told you about: ‘I will hand your enemy over to you so you can do to him whatever you desire.”
David had a choice to make. He didn’t know that everything would work out, and that one day he would become the most famous king in Israel’s history. All he knew in that moment was that Saul and 3,000 of his men were there to kill him.
David could have easily listened to the advice of his friends. He could have easily reasoned that God had put Saul in that cave with him to end his waiting. The circumstances just seemed too right for it not to have been God. Right?
But in the middle of this crisis, David made the wise choice.
He chose not to kill Saul. Nope. He simply cut a corner off of Saul’s robe and let him go.
David knew that Saul was still under God’s authority. He continued to refer to him as “the Lord’s anointed”, and he knew better than to mess with God’s man.
You and I fall into these same traps. In the midst of our waiting for fill in the blank , we come across situations that seem like they must be God’s solution to the wait because… how could it not be? Our friends are telling us it is God, and we can find verses of Scripture supporting this theory if we look hard enough… so of course its God!
The thing is, there are commandments in Scripture that we must stand upon in the midst of our wait, regardless of what others say or how we feel about a situation. We must seek to please Him above all else – ourselves and our desires included. Bending our will to His, we must be confident in Him, because He’s on it!
We may never know the consequences of ending our wait earlier than He has planned. They could be huge. In David’s case, killing Saul could have created an all-out war between him and his best friend (Saul’s son) Jonathan.
But look at the good that came from David’s obedience.
When David had finished speaking, Saul called back, “Is that really you, my son David?” Then he began to cry. And he said to David, “You are a better man than I am, for you have repaid me good for evil. Yes, you have been amazingly kind to me today, for when the Lord put me in a place where you could have killed me, you didn’t do it. Who else would let his enemy get away when he had him in his power? May the Lord reward you well for the kindness you have shown me today. And now I realize that you are surely going to be king, and that the kingdom of Israel will flourish under your rule. Now swear to me by the Lord that when that happens you will not kill my family and destroy my line of descendants!” So David promised this to Saul with an oath. Then Saul went home. (v. 16-22)
David’s willingness to continue waiting called off the man hunt, and he and Saul parted ways in peace.
So trust the Lord’s timing, don’t try to manipulate the situation yourself. He can see the big picture, you cannot. That alone should have you lifting your hands in praise to the One who holds it all together.
Take this time to worship Him for who He is. Prepare your heart for what He has next for you. Oh, and read Psalm 57, which was written by David while in that cave. Reading it in this proper context is fascinating and eye-opening.