Scripture text for Thursday, February 18th, 2010: 1 Samuel 23:7-24:22
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In I Samuel 15:17-26 King Saul arrogantly rebels against God and is “rejected as king over Israel.” God withdraws His favor and a fearful, angry, jealous, and eventually hateful Saul takes matters into his own hands.
Samuel anoints David as a future king of Israel in I Samuel 16:13: “The Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.” David becomes known for unshakable confidence in God. His wisdom and bravery lead to military success and unequalled popularity among the people. Simultaneously, “The Spirit of the Lord…departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him” (I Samuel 16:14).
God’s outspoken blessing on David fuels King Saul’s resentment. The king employs a search-and-destroy mission to kill David, a perceived threat to his throne. Innocent David runs for his life, but respects and honors the very man who terrorizes him, recognizing Saul as God’s instrument: “My master…the Lord’s anointed” (I Samuel 24:10).
King Saul’s wishful thinking and self-seeking motives contrast dramatically with David’s unqualified submission to God. Like David and Saul, our attitudes toward God are mirrored in human relationships. At the heart level we exhibit trust, loyalty, and sacrificial selflessness to each other and to Him, or else suspicion, rebellion, and self-protection.
The apostle Paul urges us to “not be conceited…do not take revenge…do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:14-21). And yet what is good? The highest good, as depicted by David in this story, is expectant confidence in God.
Devotion prepared by Beth Muehlhausen