Enemy or Instrument

1 Samuel 24:1-22


Great people are generally prepared for great works by great trials

A)At this particular point David is being prepared for a great work and he is becoming a great person.


B) THAT is why we are seeing him go through a GREAT TRIAL


C)  The plan of God is for David to ascend to the throne of Israel

1)But to PREPARE David for that, we see the Lord allowing David to go through a series of difficult trials


Redpath – God had a great purpose of blessing, a great destiny for David, but at this point he was being put through the Crucible of testing to determine his fitness for what God had planned for him.


D) This is part of the MAKING OF A MAN OF GOD

1)That is what is happening in David’s life as we come to Ch. 24


V.1 1Now it happened, when Saul had returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, “Take note! David is in the Wilderness of En Gedi.”



In the barren, desolate territory surrounding  the Dead Sea, there is a canyon that runs westward from the Dead Sea.

A)That canyon is called En Gedi, beautiful place –


B) Beautiful waterfalls and vegetation seem more like a tropical paradise than the middle of the desert.

1) As you walk up this canyon, you also notice the numerous caves dotting the hills.


C) This is a great place for David and his men to hide out! Because it is in the middle of barren desert, scouts could easily detect approaching troops. 

1)     Also because There was plenty of water and wildlife, and many caves and defensive positions.


V.2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel, and went to seek David and his men on the Rocks of the Wild Goats. 3So he came to the sheepfolds by the road, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to attend to his needs. (David and his men were staying in the recesses of the cave.)


A)The sheepfolds indicates that this was a large cave, large enough to shelter a flock of sheep,

 1) so all or most of David’s 600 men could be hidden in the recesses of the cave -While Saul & his men were camping in the Canyon




B) Saul went in to attend to his needs…….

1)     There were many caves to Choose from – the fact that Saul Chose this one was a God thing !!!

                     What are the chances?


C) This was no coincidence, but arranged by God

to train David, and display godly heart of David.



V. 4Then the men of David said to him, “This is the day of which the LORD said to you, ‘Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand, that you may do to him as it seems good to you.’”




David’s men see it as an opportunity for Revenge / to extend Vengeancethe Lord has delivered your adversary into your hand

A)Apparently the Lord had spoken thru one of the prophets – Samuel or Gad that a day would come when the Lord would deliver his enemy into …hands


B) So David’s men are thinking this is the Day –


1) They saw it as an opportunity to have revenge to render “JUSTICE”


C) But that is not the way that David saw it. David saw it as an opportunity to EXTEND grace!


V.4b And David arose and secretly cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5Now it happened afterward that David’s heart troubled him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 6And he said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.” 7So David restrained his servants with these words, and did not allow them to rise against Saul. And Saul got up from the cave and went on his way.


D) So Instead of Killing Saul David creeps up & cuts a piece of his robe & then is remorseful afterwards for even doing that -


Amazing heart of David –


How do we view such opportunities in our lives

A)When you have the opportunity to lay into someone –

They have blown it / HURT YOU


B) Now they are in your path – Would do you do?

DO you blast them ? Do you let them have it ?

1) Or do you show them Grace / Extend Mercy


C) Their name comes up in a conversation – in a Negative sense –

1) You know some dirt on that person  or that person has irritated you a time or two –


D) Do you join in the verbal assault – or do you extend mercy by not saying anything at all/ or even better  show grace by finding something good to say.

David ‘s men saw this as an opportunity from God to strike at Saul to put an end to Saul /

      But  David saw it differently – Why

A)Note several reasons & make some applications to our own lives



 #1David viewed Saul as THE LORD’S Anointed!


B)Saul was God’s Chosen to be king !!! Therefore David who had killed many Philistines & other enemies of God wasn’t going to touch Saul

1)    And even felt bad for simply cutting a piece off of Saul’s Robe


B) Application for us Every believer in Jesus Christ is anointed of the Lord in the sense that they have been indwelt w/ the very Spirit of God –  

   1) God’s Child


C) They also have a robe on – they have been robed in the righteousness of Christ –

1)Question are we going to touch the Lord’s Anointed ? Are we going to cut a piece of their Robe off?



Here is what I mean – The tongue can be like a sword – we can use it to cut someone to pieces /

A) Or we can use it to cut a piece of their Robe of righteousness that they have been given  by Christ by being critical & cutting w/ our words

B) Saul most likely discarded that robe when he arrived home because it was ruined – how many robes have we ruined w/ our words

1)    How many brothers or sisters in Christ – have we MAIMED in the eyes of others – by simply cutting someone down w/ our words.


C) One of the problems many of us face here in America is that we are opinionated people

 1) We live in a culture that trains us to be critical of things – cast our opinion {


D) Food Critics / Movie Critics / Radio talk shows – bent on calling in to give a Critical opinion.

1) President speech – hrs picking it apart


Problem when we carry that criticalness into the body of Christ.

A) Having said that understand there is a Biblical place for pointing out false teachers/ prophets/ and teachings – In fact it is our Biblical responsibility.


B) But there is no place for simply being critical or pointing out the flaws in our brothers & sisters

1) They are the anointed of the Lord – God’s spirit is in them 


C) So one application for us in this is:

1) We need to be careful to not touch the Lord’s anointed by using our tongue to cut up / cut down another believer / Hurt us we need to pray /love confront

A 2nd thing that we need to see in this statement concerning Saul being the Lord’s anointed is this/ (Whether David realized this or not I don’t know)


B) David refers to Saul as the Lord's anointed & Saul WAS the Lord's anointed INSTRUMENT to work ON David and IN David at this particular time


C) This is CRUCIAL for us to understand/  Saul had long since lost the anointing to be king


D) Saul was now merely a usurper trying to hold on to power and position that no longer belonged to him

   1) He was in the flesh – he had ordered the murder of the priest – Saul is a mess


E) But God was also allowing Saul to be the INSTRUMENT by which He would prepare David to be king over Israel


Application of this to our own lives

A)Is there someone in YOUR life that in a moment of honesty you would say: "Lord, please get them out of my life"?


B)  Maybe a boss, a relative, a friend (so-called), even your spouse?


C) Understand that God has allowed that person to be in your life for a reason:

1) They are God’s instrument to do a work in you

Saul was out for David He had NOTHING in his heart towards David but to destroy him

A)On this day, David had an opportunity to REMOVE the source of his discomfort - But he did NOT


B) Because he VIEWED Saul as the Lord’s ANOINTED IN HIS LIFE

   1) What about that boss or that relative or that brother or sister in Christ?


C) You may look at that person and say: "He can in NO WAY be an instrument of God..... He is a total WASTE"

1)   So When you see that person you avoid them / keep distance from them / You want to blast them w/ your words / cut them to shreds



D)NOTE: He/ she  is there in that position ONLY because they are the Lord's anointed instrument to develop YOU and YOUR relationship with Christ

 1)  IF you start to kill that person with your words, THEN you are          killing the Lord's anointed instrument in your life to make you more like HIM!!!


E) When I start having problems with someone – one the first things I try to do is pray –

1) Lord what am I suppose to be learning out of this?


F) Allowed this for a reason – what are you wanting to teach me – Patience / compassion / kindness


Lesson #3 Because David viewed Saul as the Lord’s Anointed He was willing to wait for the Lord deal w/ Saul / not take matters …hands    RDv.8-15


8 David also arose afterward, went out of the cave, and called out to Saul, saying, "My lord the king!" And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed down.

9 And David said to Saul:” Why do you listen to the words of men who say, 'Indeed David seeks your harm'?


10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, 'I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.'


11 Moreover, my father, see! Yes, see the corner of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the corner of your robe, and did not kill you, know and see that there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt my life to take it.


12 Let the LORD judge between you and me, and let the LORD avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you.13 As the proverb of the ancients says,’ Wickedness proceeds from the wicked.' But my hand shall not be against you.


14 After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?15 Therefore let the LORD be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand."

David INSISTED he would not touch Saul and insisted that his men not touch Saul

A)What would have happened if those 600 men had watched David cut Saul to pieces... Run him through and kill him?


B) What kind of men would they have become?

  1) They would have become men who would take    

       matters into their own hands


C) They would have been men who refused to be shaped & molded by God


D) This situation was not just God’s way of training David – but it was also God’s way of using David to train others.


Who is in your CIRCLE of influence who is being trained by watching you.  Children?

A) Parents listen one of the reasons that Christian kids get disillusioned with the Church


is because they often here their parents talking about the Church or people in the Church when driving home from Church


B) This seed is planted in their minds – there are a lot of problems there –

1) there are a lot of Hypocrites there

2)  I don’t know if I want to go to that place

C) Shame on us !! – Cause a little one to stumble

Who is going to be influenced from watching you?

Kids / Younger Christians / other believers

A) Your Chance to influence – Good or bad


B) We can model for them how to wait upon the Lord allowing him to bring a matter to pass

1) That is what David is doing here.


Ps 25:5

5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

For You are the God of my salvation;

On You I wait all the day.

Ps 27:14

4 Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage,

And He shall strengthen your heart;

Wait, I say, on the LORD!


Ps 62:1-2

Truly my soul silently waits for God;

From Him comes my salvation.

2 He only is my rock and my salvation;

He is my defense; I shall not be greatly moved.


[Denise carrying logs – wait for me – dirty hard]


When a man learns the lesson of waiting on the Lord instead of taking matters into his own hands – he is getting somewhere. – he is growing

A) In all of this we see that David was not only learning how to wait ON the Lord – but he was also learned to wait FOR  the Lord.

B) "We wait on the Lord by prayer and supplication, looking for the indication of his will;


B) We wait for the Lord by patience and submission, looking for the Positioning  of his hand."

1) David was determined that when he sat on the throne of Israel, it wouldn’t be because he got Saul out of the way, but because God got Saul out of the way.


C) He wanted God’s fingerprints on that work, not his own-

1) I have had times in ministry – especially early yrs where my finger prints were all over everything


D) My great plan or strategy – it was my hard work or ingenuity – My tenaciousness / my maneuvering

1) Look back it is a lonely feeling – was that really God


I went to Oregon – opposite extreme at first – I don’t want to do anything that remotely speaks of me

A) This has to be a God thing – can’t be a Rob thing


B) Biggest blessing – look at something & know – God did that

1) Who’s fingerprints are on what you are doing ?


C) That is where David is at – He wanted God to put him on the throne and so he was willing to wait

  1) David was content to let the Lord Judge between him & Saul.


"We win most when we appear to have yielded most, and gain advantages by refusing to take them wrongfully. The man who can wait for God is a man of power." (Meyer)


D) David’s Loyalty to Saul had a Profound affect upon David’s men as they were throughout his reign as king – incredibly Loyal – never an insurrection 

1)    in fact – Uriah wouldn’t even go home to his wife 



You might be thinking: This sounds THEORETICALLY right but PRACTICALLY it is simply impossible

A)In MATTHEW 5 Jesus gives to us TWO important insights into dealing with the Saul's in our lives


Matt. 5:43-45  43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.         


B) You want to prove you are a Child of your father -  bE LIKE jESUS



It was love for fallen humanity that led Jesus to go to the cross in the greatest display of Love –

A)And pray from the cross – Father forgive them they know not what they are doing ( God’s commandments are His enablements)


B) HOW do we do that? Love our enemies !!!!!

    1) Matt. 5:44  bless them that curse you

                          do good to those who hate you


C) What does it mean to BLESS someone? It means to bestow happiness to them !!!   To whom?  / Those that curse you/ hate you

1)    Those that wish evil and destruction upon you


D) Bless them – find ways to show them Kindness

1) Hard goes against HUMAN NATUTE – True

 But you have been given a new nature !!!


 Bless them/ do Good to them & PRAY FOR THEM!!!!  WHY? –

A)Something happens when I pray for people


B) You can NOT continue to be mad at someone you are praying for 

1)In fact, you will get more angry with every evil desire that           you harbor towards them { Insight / compassion


C) But You can NOT be in the throne room of God and be angry You find that YOUR heart begins to melt

1)Prayer changes things – the changes the most is me!

Note the Reaction that David’s love had upon Saul – v.16-22



16 So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said,” Is this your voice, my son David?" And Saul lifted up his voice and wept.


17 Then he said to David: "You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil.


18 And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me; for when the LORD delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me.


19 For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the LORD reward you with good for what you have done to me this day.


20 And now I know indeed that you shall surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in your hand.


21 Therefore swear now to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not destroy my name from my father's house."


22 So David swore to Saul. And Saul went home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.


Saul was a man who spent his final days battling against God – but when he encounters the love & Patience of God demonstrated thru David



B) Almost like a flash of lightning – Saul sees his own stupidity & folly

1)    That is why the Practice of Love is so important /


C) Love has the ability to break down the most powerful Barriers


D) It has a way of stripping people of their defenses that allows them to be open to the message of the gospel

1)    The love  that melts a persons heart to the point of being open to receiving the Love of Christ – often starts when they see that love in us


E) Problem in this case with Saul is it wasn’t lasting –

He is a YO/ YO – up and down


A)He experiences the emotion of sorrow / tears / remorse confesses – He sees that he is wrong – but doesn’t Change / No repentance


B) What good are the tears / the confession if he doesn’t act upon his remorse

Emotions are great if it awakens a person to their sinful condition & results in their turning from their sin


C) Otherwise it is pointless

Lessons from 1 Sam. 24


#1 Every believer is anointed of the Lord because the Holy Spirit is in them.


#2 Difficult people are often God’s instruments to do a work in our lives.


#3 We must learn the importance of  waiting on the Lord, instead of taking  matters into our own hands.


#4 If we are going to be like Jesus – we  need to bless and pray for those who have wronged us.


#5 God’s kindness demonstrated through our lives can melt the hardest of hearts.