David’s men grew to over 600. They heard that the Philistines were robbing the people in Keilah. After David inquired of the Lord, they went to Keilah, fought the Philistines, took their livestock, and saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
1 Samuel 23:8 – Then Saul called down to Keilah to besiege David and his men.
It wasn’t just King Saul that was after David, but the entire Israel army was committed to killing David.
1 Samuel 23:29 – Then David went up from there and dwelt in strongholds at En Gedi.
En Gedi was a perfect hideout for David and his men. There was fresh water springs, waterfalls, vegetation, and caves in the cliffs, high above the Dead Sea. This place also provided a perfect lookout where he could see for miles around to an enemy approaching. This is the place David is when Saul finishes a battle that had led him away from David, for a time.
1 Samuel 24:1-4 – Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him saying, “Take note! David is in the wilderness of En Gedi.” (Verse 2) Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rock of the Wild Goats. (Verse 3) so he came to the sheepfold by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. (This is where David and his men were hiding.) (Verse 4) Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’” And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.
Saul was by himself, attending to business, and David’s men tell him that God has delivered Saul into his hands.
In temptation, just like this one, is where we can mess up, if not careful. Someone has done us wrong; we have an opportunity to get him or her back; do we take it? David only took a little proof of what he could have done to Saul.
Instead of gloating over what he had done, David became troubled, his conscience bothered him.
That’s the way we will know if we have yielded to a temptation-our conscience will begin to Naw at us.
Some would say, “What’s the big deal? My company made over a million dollars last year, I only took a few stamps or stationary, or whatever.” What the company has bought doesn’t belong to us. It’s called stealing.
David had cut off a piece of Saul’s robe and now began to feel guilty. Why do you think God put this in the Bible? Because, when you really want to follow God, Christ, you start to pay attention to every detail. Little things will start to bother you, and they should. Our conscience will bother us if we snap at someone. It’s when these “little things” don’t bother us anymore that we are sliding backwards.
1 Samuel 24:6 – And he (David) said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lords anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord.
So, David declared to the men a “righteous principle.” Had Saul done wrong in trying to kill David? Yes. But, was it David’s job to make it right? No. That God’s job, to justify injustices. We do not take revenge, even in mocking, into our own hands (Romans 12:19).
1 Samuel 24:7 – So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way.
David’s men were watching him. Don’t ever think that people don’t know the difference between right and wrong, they do. People know exactly what they are doing. Some just choose to ignore their conscience.
When you are a person of integrity, you will make the wrong, right, especially if you are a child of the Most High. We have to watch what we say and do, not only in front of others, but when no one is watching. That’s authentic obedience to God.
David had confidence in God to protect him and make things right. This is not always easy to do. Our flesh wants to strike back when someone does us wrong. David’s son, Solomon, later wrote in Proverb’s 16:7 – When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.
We don’t get people back’ we don’t plot against; and we certainly don’t run them down all the time to others. This is not pleasing to the Lord. We, as I, have to let God be God.