TODAY’S SPECIAL: 1 Samuel 26:1-12

TO CHEW ON: "But David said to Abishai, 'Don’t destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?'” 1 Samuel 26:9

Messengers came running to Saul. “We’ve seen David,” they said. “We can tell you where he is!” So Saul took three thousand soldiers and went to the place the messengers had said.

David had his own spies. They knew exactly when Saul arrived and where his army was camped. One day David went to the hill overlooking Saul’s camp. As he peered down, he saw Saul asleep in the middle of all the soldiers. Even his bodyguard, Abner, was asleep.

After dark, David and his friend Abishai crept down the hill and into the camp. They tiptoed right past all the sleeping soldier to the place where Saul lay.

“Here’s your chance,” whispered Abishai. “God is giving Saul into your hands. Let me kill him for you.”

“No!” David said. “He’s the king that God chose. It’s up to God whether he lives or dies. I won’t lay a hand on him.” But David took Saul’s spear and the water jug that was close to his head. Then they left the camp as quietly as they had come.

When they were at the top of the hill David shouted, “Abner!”

Abner woke up “Who are you?” he asked.

“Where is the king’s spear and water jug?” said David. “You didn’t guard your king very well!”

Illustration by Annie Vallotton from the Good News Bible © American Bible Society 1976, 1992

By now Saul was awake. He realized the danger he had been in and how David had spared his life. He felt bad. “I have sinned,” he said. “I won’t try to harm you again.”

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to respect and honor the people You have called in a special way, like David honored Saul. Amen.

MORE Respect for leaders

Saul was doing bad things. God’s blessing was no longer on his life. Still David knew that he had been God’s choice as king over Israel. David was determined to respect God’s choice.

Some people God puts over us are parents, pastors, school and Sunday school teachers, coaches. Most times those people are good. But sometimes they are bad and want to hurt us. Below are some things from this story about how to act toward people over us. Which thing does this story does not teach:

1. We should respect the people in authority over us.
2. Sometimes the people over us are bad or evil.
3. It’s always okay to get a teacher or coach we don’t like in trouble
4. God is able to care for us even when we’re under bad leaders.