Wednesday, May 9, 2012

David Could Have Killed Saul in the Cave

Mary Vee
I Samuel 24

David's Thoughts

Two spies returned from patrol. "Commander David, Saul has returned from his battle against the Philistines. He's in the Wilderness of En Gedi."

"Here? He's here?"

"Yes, and he has three thousand men with him."

This will be a challenge. We had no time to hide. I went off by myself to pray. "I don't see how we can escape, Lord. Tell me what to do, Lord. Should we flee. If so, then where?" The Lord gave no word to move. 

My men crowded toward the back of the cave behind a rock shelf. No one looking inside the cave would see them. "Listen up everyone, I've received no instruction from the Lord to flee. Who knows, maybe by moving Saul will capture us. Stay in the recesses for now."

It wasn't more than a minute later when Saul's voice echoed from the opening of the cave. "Give me privacy for a time."

One of my men whispered, "He's in the cave!"

I held my figure to my lips to hush him. All the men sat frozen to prevent any noises. I crept closer to watch what Saul did. He relieved himself then took a nap. 

One of the men pushed his way toward me. "This is your chance. The Lord has sent Saul to the cave for you. Go. Kill your enemy."

I crept close to Saul. He snored in his deep sleep. I unsheathed my knife and cut a corner of his robe.

I looked at the knife in one hand and the piece of Saul's robe in the other. What had I done! The evidence of my guilt rested in my hand. I had cut the robe of God's anointed king. I couldn't find my breath.  I had no right to dishonor the king. My heart saddened.

I crept back to the recesses and felt miserable. My men huddled closer. Their faces filled with rage. "Why didn't you kill him? He's right there! God brought him right here to you. What kind of a commander are you, anyway?"

"I couldn't kill him and I won't. That man is the king of Israel, appointed by God. What right have I to kill him? And what right have you to kill him?" 

The men backed away and sulked.

We waited for Saul to wake and walk out to his men. He joined them outside the cave and shouted, "Have the scouts report David's location to me at once."

I couldn't wait. My men followed me to the mouth of the cave where Saul could see us. "My lord the king!"

Saul whipped around as if a ghost called to him.

I bowed before him and said, "Why do you listen to the words of men who say I have come to harm you? Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But I chose not to. I reminded the men you are king, appointed by God."

I raised the corner of the kings robe in the air. "See the corner of your robe in my hand?  I cut this piece from your robe while you rested in the cave and chose not to kill you. My king, I do not have evil or rebellion against you or your kingdom. I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it from me. 

"Let the Lord judge between you and me. Let Him avenge. My hand shall not be against you. As the proverb of the ancient says, 'Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.' I shall not be wicked against you. 

"Who are you chasing, my king? A dead dog? A flea? Therefore, let the Lord be judge between you and me. Let Him see and plead my case and deliver me out of your hand."

Saul called to me. "Is that your voice, my son David?" Then I heard him weep.

Saul said, "You are more righteous than I. You have rewarded me with good when I rewarded you evil.  You have shown me this day how you treated me well, for when the Lord delivered me into your hands, you did not kill me. When a man finds his enemy does he let him get away?

"David, my son, may the Lord reward you with good for what you've done to me this day. For I now know you shall surely be king and the kingdom of Israel will be in your hands.

"Promise me, David, before the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not destroy my name from my father's house."

I remained bowed before Saul and said, "I promise." I didn't stand until he left. 

Saul ordered his men to return to the city. 

In truth, I've learned not to trust Saul even after the promise he made. My men and I chose to remain hidden in a place I can't tell you. I don't want you to accidentally tell Saul.

I wrote a psalm while hiding in the caves. When you read it, you may recognize portions for I hear new music has been written to these words God has given us.

Psalm 57 
Prayer for Safety from Enemies

    Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful,
      because I come to you for safety.
   In the shadow of your wings I find protection
      until the raging storms are over.

 2 I call to God, the Most High,
      to God, who supplies my every need.
 3 He will answer from heaven and save me;
      he will defeat my oppressors.
      God will show me his constant love and faithfulness.

 4 I am surrounded by enemies,
      who are like lions hungry for human flesh.
   Their teeth are like spears and arrows;
      their tongues are like sharp swords.

 5 Show your greatness in the sky, O God,
      and your glory over all the earth.

 6 My enemies have spread a net to catch me;
      I am overcome with distress.
   They dug a pit in my path,
      but fell into it themselves.

 7 I have complete confidence, O God;
      I will sing and praise you!
 8 Wake up, my soul!
      Wake up, my harp and lyre!
      I will wake up the sun.
 9 I will thank you, O Lord, among the nations.
      I will praise you among the peoples.

 10 Your constant love reaches the heavens;
      your faithfulness touches the skies.
 11 Show your greatness in the sky, O God,
      and your glory over all the earth.

  1. Psalm 57:1 HEBREW TITLE: A psalm by David, after he fled from Saul in the cave.
1.  What did David do when the spies told him Saul was near?
2.  What did David order his men to do?
3.  Who came in the cave?
4.  What did David do?
5.  What did David's men tell David to do?
6.  How did David feel about what he did?
7.  When Saul left what did David do?
8.  Why did David write Psalm 57?
9.  How can this Psalm help you?

Resource: and


  1. Hey Mary! I am thinking about using your blog for our devotionals this summer! Great stuff! :)

  2. Thanks Angie! Let me know if the kids have any ideas to share.


We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!