Scripture Passage: 1 Samuel 24:1-7
King David was a remarkable man after God’s own heart. He lived by principle, not by appearance. He was a warrior who knew many victories, but perhaps his greatest victory was the one over his own spirit when subjected to authority.
In 1 Samuel 24, David is hiding in a cave after King Saul has put a bounty on his head. King Saul comes into the cave, unaware that David and his men are hiding just out of sight. David has the opportunity to kill Saul, the man actively trying to kill him. But he does not; instead, he shows us how to behave in a cave, when no one else is watching.
He refuses to take vengeance and acts as we should according to Scripture: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
Like David, we must remember the principle of spiritual authority. David knew that he had no right to take Saul’s life because Saul was God’s chosen and anointed king. There is no king, no power, no ruler that has not been ordained of God. To rebel against them is an act of rebellion against God. We are all subject to them and must submit to their leadership.
Second, David gently pleaded for change, with reverence, respect, and reason. David relied on God to change Saul’s heart.
If the authority in question commands us to do something that is contrary to the Word of God, we should obey God rather than men. But we must be sure that even when we disobey our appointed leader, we have a warrant from Scripture. Even still, we should act in a manner that respects authority. God took care of Saul, and God will take care of our enemies as we learn to rely on the Lord.
Finally, David made a gracious promise to King Saul, that when he became king, he would protect Saul’s loved ones.
The spirit of God was in David. Adrian Rogers says, “David never won a greater victory than he won that day in the cave: a victory over self, a victory over Saul, and a victory over sin.”
Are you facing conflict in submitting to spiritual authority? Consider how David behaved in the cave. Recognize the great principle of authority and show respect to those God has placed over you.