David’s sparing of Saul’s life is a great example of God’s grace. David saw Saul not as his enemy but as God’s anointed.
David knew that God had promised him the throne of Israel but that Saul was in the way of that very promise. He decided to spare Saul because he knew it would be disobedient of him to kill Saul. David knew that God had put Saul in authority and he trusted that it was God’s job to take care of Saul. David wanted the promise to be fulfilled but he refused to try to fulfil it through his disobedience and sin. Have you ever found yourself wanting to sin to fulfil a promise or desire? As Christians, it’s easy to think we are justified in sinning to pursue a promise from God. The end goal will never justify any sinful means of getting there. This passage is a great reminder to us to trust in God. God will fulfil his promises, in His way.
We see in this passage David’s grace and forgiveness towards Saul. He sets a perfect example of not being overcome by evil but overcoming evil with good (Romans 12:21). David showed no bitterness towards Saul even though Saul made his life miserable. How do we react and treat people when we feel we deserve some sort of revenge? David kept taking the situation to the Lord and received freedom from the hurt, bitterness and anger. God can give these things to us if we ask and take our situations to the Lord.
What I notice particularly towards the end of this passage is that the grace and generosity David displayed makes such a good impression. Saul goes on to speak as someone overwhelmed by David’s kindness. David’s obedience to God and his witness of love to Saul made a massive difference in softening Saul’s heart. What impact can we have as Christians by treating people with grace and love just as David did? In today’s world this could make a radical impact. Jesus says in the gospel of John to ‘love one another as I have loved you’ (13:34-35). Jesus’s love for us was unconditional, what impact could we have on the hearts and lives of others if we treated people with a bit more grace and love?
Father God, we thank You that Your love is unconditional. We thank You that we can trust You to fulfil Your promises. Help us to continue to trust Your ways and plans for us. Help us to be more like Jesus as we seek to love each other and treat each other with grace in every situation.