God-given Restraint

It is sometimes hard to tell in circumstances whether we are given the opportunity to do what we want or what God wants.  It is wonderful when what we want for ourselves and what God wants for us coincide.  Sometimes, though we are presented with a situation which seems almost heaven-sent but to pursue it would be wrong.  Say if you meet a member of the opposite sex and you really hit it off.  It seems that you have never before met anyone who shares so many of your interests and appreciates your humour.  However, if both of you are already married God’s will for your life is plain.  This meeting may have indicated areas of weakness in your marriage, but it is not then an opportunity sent by God to leave the marriage.  We need to look to the Spirit of God to give us restraint.  A similar opportunity occurs for David in the Bible when Saul goes to relieve himself in a cave.  David’s followers see this as an opportunity for David to kill Saul.  However, David knows that regicide is not an option for a subject of God.  Although it is a God-given moment, it is a moment for David to show his exceptional character not for David to claim the throne.

When circumstances come your way, take time to asess whether you are impulsively satisfying your own appetite or whether God’s will is different in this case than your own.  In the end it is God’s will that will satisfy.

1 Samuel 24

 1 [a]After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, “David is in the Desert of En Gedi.” 2So Saul took three thousand able young men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats.

 3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said[b]to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe.

 5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” 7With these words David sharply rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.

 8 Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, “My lord the king!” When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. 9 He said to Saul, “Why do you listen when men say, ‘David is bent on harming you’? 10 This day you have seen with your own eyes how the LORD delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the LORD’s anointed.’ 11 See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. See that there is nothing in my hand to indicate that I am guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life. 12 May the LORD judge between you and me. And may the LORD avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. 13As the old saying goes, ‘From evildoers come evil deeds,’ so my hand will not touch you.

 14 “Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Who are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? 15May the LORD be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand.”

 16 When David finished saying this, Saul asked, “Is that your voice, David my son?” And he wept aloud. 17 “You are more righteous than I,” he said. “You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. 18 You have just now told me about the good you did to me; the LORD delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. 19 When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the LORD reward you well for the way you treated me today. 20 I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands. 21Now swear to me by the LORD that you will not kill off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father’s family.”

 22 So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

Questions

  1. Where does David flee?
  2. Why does David have remorse about cutting the king’s cloak?
  3. What does saul acknowledge about David?
  4. When has an opportunity fallen into your lap?
  5. How can you decide which path to take when an opportunity arises?

About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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14 Responses to God-given Restraint

  1. Rebecca Langer says:

    Where does David flee?
    He fled to the Desert of Ed Gedi, and he was also near the Crags of the Wild Goats.
    Why does David have remorse about cutting the king’s cloak?
    Because even that was disrespectful of him.
    What does saul acknowledge about David?
    Saul acknowledges that David is a good and righteous man and that he will rule Isreal one day.
    When has an opportunity fallen into your lap?
    There are often times when I am conversing with people and I can either speak good blessings on them, or I could say something bad about them.
    How can you decide which path to take when an opportunity arises?
    I cannot say that I always take the right path, unfortunately, but the Holy Spirit is always there with that still small voice telling me what I should be doing.

  2. [ED2203-01] HyeJin Lee says:

    1.Where does David flee?
    He was in a cave.
    2.Why does David have remorse about cutting the king’s cloak?
    Even though he did not kill the king Saul, David still had remorse about cutting the king’s cloak because Saul was anointed by the Lord.
    3.What does saul acknowledge about David?
    Saul realized that David did not do anything wrong to him and did not kill him even though he had a chance.
    4.When has an opportunity fallen into your lap?
    5.How can you decide which path to take when an opportunity arises?
    I would pray that God would lead me to the right ways.

  3. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) David had fled to the desert of En Gedi in the previous chapter.
    2) He felt guitly for even doing something as insignificant as cutting off the corner of the robe of Saul, because he is the Lord’s annointed.
    3) He aknowledes that David is more righteous them him.
    4) I had the opportunity to study at Moody, Trinity, and NIU
    5) I prayed a lot about this decsion, and I allowed God to make it very clear.

  4. Amy Kringle says:

    1. The desert of En Gedi.
    2. Because Saul was his master and the annointed one of the Lord.
    3. That David is more righteous and has continued to treat him well, while he has not treated David well. He acknowledges that one day David will have the throne.
    4. The opportunity to help someone who is having a bad day or ignore and passively pretend I don’t notice.
    5. It shouldnt contradict how the Bible says that I should live and it should actually draw me, and anyone else effected by my opportunity, closer to knowing Christ and living in righteousness.

  5. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. David fled to the desert of En Gedi and hid in a cave there.
    2. David was troubled after cutting Saul’s cloak because the cloak was a symbol of royal authority and God gave him that authority. Thus, he felt remorse.
    3. Saul acknowledged that David was more righteous and that he treated him well.
    4. There was an opportunity for me to share my testimony at a megachurch, but something else came up.
    5. Through praying and listening to God’s still voice.

  6. Moon Jung Kim[ED 2203;Mon 6:00pm class] says:

    1.Where does David flee? to the Desert of En Gedi
    2.Why does David have remorse about cutting the king’s cloak? the king was anointed by God. so David had remorse cutting the king’s cloak which represents King’s authority.
    3.What does saul acknowledge about David? David is more righteous than himself and David has treated him well, but Saul have treated David badly.
    4.When has an opportunity fallen into your lap? in former school, Word of Life Bible Institute, I had some opportunities that I went to different places and shared the Gospel to people.
    5.How can you decide which path to take when an opportunity arises? i try to consider which can be glorifying God or which is closed to God’s will.

  7. Kristen Patush says:

    1.Where does David flee?

    Desert of En Gedi

    2.Why does David have remorse about cutting the king’s cloak?

    Saul’s cloak was a symbol of his authority. David cutting part of Saul’s cloak made Saul feel remorseful because God had appointed Saul to be king and have that authority.

    3.What does saul acknowledge about David?

    That he is more righteous that himself (Saul).

    4.When has an opportunity fallen into your lap?

    There has been oppurtunities in regards to school, work, friends, and dating. I think I have the most difficult time when it comes to dating.

    5.How can you decide which path to take when an opportunity arises?

    PRAY, go to God’s Word, seek godly counsel. Do what would glorify God the most!

  8. 1. He runs to the Desert of En Gedi and hides in a cave.
    2. He feels remorse because Saul is still God’s anointed.
    3. He acknowledges that David is more righteous than him and asks David if he will preserve Saul’s line.
    4. There have been times when I have had opportunities in dating relationships, work experiences, and other relationships.
    5. I pray alot and about it and also seek out those who can give me wise council about the situation.

  9. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. David flees to the dessert.
    2. David has remorse about cutting off the king’s cloak because he knows that the Lord forbid him to do such a thing.
    3. Saul acknowledges that David is more righteous than he.
    4. Opportunites have fallen into my lap to do both good and bad, there have been opportunities to serve people oversees and things that pretty much just fell into my lap, and then there have been other opportunities that have presented themselves as an opportunity fo me to tell people what I really think, in the not so nice sort of context. So while opportunities that fall into our lap can be from God we must be careful how we respond to them,
    5. You can decide which path to take when opportunites arise, by being in the word and seeking counsel about the decisions at hand.

  10. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. David flees to Ein Gedi.
    2. David has remorse because he knows that he should not do any harm to the LORD’s anointed king.
    3. Saul acknowledges that David is more righteous than he is.
    5. Prayer, scripture, and seeking the wisdom and opinion of other Christians.

  11. Cassie Clark says:

    1. David goes to the Desert of En Gedi.
    2. His conscience was stricken because he had harmed–even a little bit–the Lord’s anointed.
    3. David was more righteous than himself.
    4. Perhaps when moments have presented themselves where I could have said words to get revenge and hurt another.
    5. I pray that the Holy Spirit will direct my desires and actions.

  12. Grace Yoo says:

    1. David flees to the Desert of En Gedi.

    2. David has remorse about cutting the King’s cloak because the king was anointed by the Lord.

    3. Saul acknowledges that David is more righteous than he is.

    4. There were many times in my life where opportunities have fallen into my lap.

    5. I can decide what path to take when there is an opportunity by praying and asking God what He wants me to do.

  13. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.Where does David flee?
    -David is in a cave in the Desert of En Gedi.
    2.Why does David have remorse about cutting the king’s cloak?
    -because despite the fact that Saul has a bad intention to take David’ life, -Saul was the anointed king by the Lord.
    3.What does saul acknowledge about David?
    -His greater righteousness than Saul’s.
    4.When has an opportunity fallen into your lap?
    – Many opportunities have fallen into my lap when I wasn’t ready for the opportunities.
    5.How can you decide which path to take when an opportunity arises?
    – I choose to the path which my heart leads after prayer.

  14. aaron wright says:

    1. en gedi
    2. Saul was annointed by God and he did not want to dishonor him.
    3. that David was more righteous than He
    4. When Ive wanted to get back at someone verbally for cutting me down, I have the opportunity to speak evil against them.
    5. prayer. ask God what would honor Him most

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