Today’s reading begins with David protecting the city of Keilah from the Philistines and concludes with David marrying Abigail and Ahinoam.
The story between David and Saul takes an interesting turn in today’s reading. Saul had been seeking to kill David because he thought that David was seeking to destroy him and his kingdom. Although Samuel had anointed David, and it was God’s intent to eventually take away the kingdom from Saul; David had refused to take advantage of this fact and wanted to wait for God’s timing to play out.
While Saul was in pursuit of David he came to the cave where David and his men were hiding. Saul needed to ‘relieve himself’ and chose the cave to take care of business. While Saul was defecating, David not willing to reach out and strike Saul because Saul was still the LORD’s anointed king, instead reached out and cut off a portion of Saul’s garment. After Saul had left the cave, David pursued him and called out to him. David showed Saul that he had been in a position to strike down Saul dead and this convinces Saul to repent for his actions. We will find later that this incident did not end Saul’s pursuit of David, this incident highlights once again David’s deep respect for God and the office of the king of Israel and God’s anointing.
Saul had been absolutely devoted to the death of David and one can only imagine the emotions that Saul felt when David revealed to him that he could have taken his life at any time. I’m not sure I would have the gall to continue pursuing David knowing that I had been within inches of my life being taken by him. Then again, I’m not Saul.