HONORING UNJUST AUTHORITY POSITIONS THE RIGHTEOUS FOR ULTIMATE VINDICATION
(:1-3) INTRODUCTION: OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS … OR IS IT TEMPTATION?
Setting the Scene
A. (:1) Opportunity Knocks Once Again for Saul – His Intelligence Network at Work
“He was told, saying ‘Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi”
B. (:2) Overkill Should at Least Lead to a Sure Kill
“Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats.”
C. (:3) Opportunity Actually Knocks for David
“Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave.”
I. (:4-7) ONLY A SENSITIVE CONSCIENCE CAN PROVIDE RESTRAINT AGAINST TEMPTATION
A. (:4) Common Sense Can Sometimes be a Bad Spiritual Counselor –
Spiritual Rationalizations for taking matters into your own hands
“you shall do to him as it seems good to you”
B. (:5) A Sensitive Conscience Always Provides an Extra Dose of Restraint
“David’s conscience bothered him”
The slippery path downward must be checked at the very beginning while you can still retrace your steps.
Gordon: “the tearing of a robe, and especially the hem of a robe, could be a highly symbolic act in the near east. We have already had an instance in 15:27f., where the loss of a kingdom is portended (cf. 1 Ki. 11:30f.). In certain circumstances the grasping or releasing of a hem could indicate submission or rebellion on the part of the person responsible.”
C. (:6) The Sanctity of the Lord’s Anointed Must Take Precedence Over Personal Ambition and Even Common Sense
“Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed.”
D. (:7) Godly Leadership Can Protect the Impetuous From Grave Error
“And David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul.”
II. (:8-15) DAVID MAKES A STRONG CASE BUT ULTIMATE VINDICATION MUST COME FROM GOD
A. (:8) Expression of Honor – I will show respect even to an unjust king who is out to kill me.
B. (:9) Question of Credibility – Why do you believe the lies about me?
C. (:10-11) Witness of Reality – Obviously, I am not out to harm you.
D. (:12-15) Judge of Righteousness – God will ultimately vindicate me.
Deffinbaugh: David reminds the king that men can be known by their fruits. In the words of the ancient proverb, David quotes, “Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness” (verse 13). David has done nothing wicked toward Saul, and he assures Saul his hand will not be against him in the future (verse 13). He also reminds the king that his fears about David are exaggerated. David likens himself to a dead dog and to a single flea (verse 14). How can such a great man as Saul, with all his military might, can have such fears about David?
III. (:16-22) TEMPORARY REMORSE CAN LOOK PRETTY IMPRESSIVE
A. (:16) Tears of Remorse
B. (:17-19a) Truths of Justice
C. (:19b-20) Times are Changing
D. (:21-22) Terms of Conciliation