“As the LORD lives, the LORD will certainly strike him down: either his day will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. However, as the LORD is my witness, I will never lift my hand against the LORD’s anointed.” (1 Samuel 26:10-11)
For the second time we see Saul at the mercy of David, unwittingly giving David the opportunity to take matters into his own hands and end Saul’s pursuit of him permanently. This is a test from God, if you will. How tempting this must have been for David! For the second time he had Saul in his hands and in one fell swoop could have killed him, thus ending his miserable lot as a fugitive on the run. But again, we see David choosing the harder path, trusting God to deliver him and deal justly with King Saul in His own time. He knew it was not his place to take the king’s life, because God had appointed him and therefore, in David’s mind, only God can remove him.
So what about us? What happens when you are faced with a similar situation? You have the opportunity to end an unjust suffering through unrighteous means, do you take it? Wouldn’t it be easier to just do it and ask for forgiveness later? At least your suffering would be over. But this is not God’s will. One of the hardest things to do is to say “yes” to suffering, even unjust suffering, willingly, knowing full well you have the power to stop it. But in doing so you would disobey and displease God. This is the kind of situation we find Jesus in when faced with the knowledge of His impending crucifixion and death. When He could have easily called on 12,000 angels to come to His rescue from the hands of his captors, when He could have spoken up for His own defense before Pilate, when He could have come down off the cross and end His suffering, He chose the harder path of suffering, because He loved God more. Love stayed His hand. We can take comfort in knowing that He gives us the strength for what He calls us to. We cannot do it on our own power, and that’s the point. God gives us opportunities like this to trust in Him, and His grace to carry us through. We are not alone in our struggle — He is with us, and He is for us. The victory that comes from His hand is ultimately much better than the one we assume for ourselves.
In your endeavor to obey God, listen to the words of James, and let it strengthen your resolve: “Blessed is the one who endures trials, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12).