First Samuel 24 Commentary
By his own confession, Saul hasn’t been good to David. You sense a tone of regret. Here is David, the hunted; and here is Saul the hunter. But logic seems to temporarily take over. Saul is in the wrong. David is in the right. Saul knows it. He also knows that David would be king.
Hearing Saul speak this way you wonder where the madness comes from. But we know the source: the evil spirit. Now that there is no David to sing them away, they have taken control of Saul nearly completely.
It is the nature of sin that it thrives in irrational environments. Given the time to think through matters, even the sinner would tell you the sin was committed irrationally. It is true that sin begins by denying a man the right usage of the God-given faculties.
The catch however is that salvation doesn’t consist in the restoration of faculties, but rather in the indwelling of the Spirit of God. This is what King Saul has missed. This is what the world is missing.
Eventually, goodness wins. The hunter fails to lift his weapon when the hunted shows up. Forgiveness has won the day. Light is more powerful than darkness. David spares his life and the forgiven Saul returns to his home. But we know Saul is not in control of himself. He will return to this very point.
Salvation by logic, resolutions, or promises doesn’t exist. The story of Saul speaks to us very loudly that when the Spirit of God departs, Ruler on and His dominion will have departed. Man is left in the hands of demons. They decide what happens, often so irrationally that even the sinner himself is left wondering what got into him.
“When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed?” This is the rule in Saul’s evil world. David’s world of righteousness is very different: “From evildoers come evil deeds.” He knows evil comes from evildoers. He is not one of them; so his hand will not touch Saul.
It should be simple: believers shouldn’t do what sinners do. We all need help on this one. David gives us encouragement that indeed this is possible.
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