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Now it came to pass, when Saul was returned from the Philistines, they told him, David's in Engedi. So Saul took three thousand of his chosen men out of all of Israel, they went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats. [Engedi means, "wild goats".] And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to cover his feet: [That is to go to sleep.] and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave. [So David was hiding in this cave, and Saul came to, and you know went to sleep in the very cave where David and his men were hiding up in the sides of the thing.] And the men of David said unto him, [Aha,] Behold, the day of which the Lord said unto you, Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good unto thee. So David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe secretly. Now it came to pass after, that David's heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul's skirt. [He did it and then he thought, "Oh that's not right. This guy's a king and shouldn't have his skirt cut off." and he felt bad about it.] And David said, The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch forth my hand against him, seeing he is anointed of the Lord. So David stayed his servants with these words, and he would not allow them to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up and went out of the cave and went his way. [The men of course wanted to do Saul in, and David forbid them to do it.] And after Saul had gotten down the hill away, David arose also afterward, and he went after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself. And David said to Saul, Why do you listen to men's words, saying, Behold, David is seeking to hurt you? Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today in my hand in the cave: and some of them were begging me to kill you: but I said, I will not put forth my hand against my lord; for he is the Lord's anointed. Moreover, my father, see, here is the skirt of your robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of your robe, and I didn't kill you, you ought to know, and see that I have neither evil nor transgression in my hand, I've not sinned against you; and you're hunting my soul to take it. And the Lord judged between me and thee, and the Lord avenged me of thee: but my hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but my hand shall not be upon thee ( 1 Samuel 24:1-13 ).
Here's an interesting proverb. "Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked." It is the same as saying, "A man sins because he is a sinner." You see we often think, "Because I sin, I am a sinner." No. Because I'm a sinner, I sin. You say well what difference-it's an important difference. Only horsethieves steal horses. If you were not a horsethief you couldn't steal a horse, no matter what the circumstances are. Stealing a horse doesn't make you a horsethief. It only proves you are. If you weren't a horsethief to begin with, you could never have stolen it. The same with sin; sinning doesn't make you a sinner; it only proves that you are. I am a sinner by nature. If I try to deny the sinful nature, I'm calling God a liar. His truth isn't in me. All of us are sinners by nature, and because we are sinners by nature, sin is the fruit, or the effect, or the result of what I am. I sin because I'm a sinner.
Now even so in Christ Jesus, I am now righteous, therefore the righteousness that I do doesn't make me righteous, I do it because I am righteous. Because of God's work in my life in making me righteous, I do now the deeds of righteousness. But we've got to keep in our minds from this fallacy of thinking, "Because I do deeds of righteousness, I am righteous." Not so. "But wickedness proceeds from the wicked." If you're wicked, wickedness is gonna proceed from your life. It doesn't make you wicked, it only proves that you are wicked. So it's an interesting proverb of the ancients. It is a true proverb indeed. It's in keeping with the basic doctrines of the scriptures.
After whom [David said] is the king of Israel come out? who are you pursuing? you're looking for a dead dog, you're looking for a flea. The Lord therefore be judge, and judge between me and you, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of your hand. It came to pass, when David had made an end of his speech, that Saul said, Is this the voice, of my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. ["Oh my son David, oh my son."] And he said to David, You are more righteous than I: for you have rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded you evil. And you have shewed this day how that you have dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the Lord had delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away well? wherefore the Lord reward thee good for thou hast done unto me this day. And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand ( 1 Samuel 24:14-20 ).
He knew it and yet he sought to fight it all the way. He knew what God's will was and still he sought to fight the will of God. The Bible says, "Woe unto him who strives with his Maker"( Isaiah 45:9 ). How many times people are trying to fight what they know to be the will of God. Sad but true. Saul expresses now, "I know that some day God's gonna make you king, the kingdom's gonna be established in your hands."
Swear now therefore by the Lord, that you will not cut off my children after me, and that you will not destroy my name out of my father's house. And so David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men went into the hold ( 1 Samuel 24:21-22 ). "
Copyright © 2014, Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, Ca.
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on 1 Samuel 24". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent