“Saul went down to the wilderness of Ziph with three thousand chosen men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah… Then David rose and came…
“David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the army lay around him. Then Abishai said to David, ‘God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear…’ But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed… let us go.’ So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul’s head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake…
“Then David went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill, with a great space between them. And David called.., ‘Will you not answer, Abner?.. See where the king’s spear is and the jar of water that was at his head.’
“Saul recognized David’s voice and said, ‘Is this your voice, my son David?’ And David said, ‘O king.., why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands?..
“Saul said, ‘I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day…’ And David answered.., ‘The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the Lord gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed. As your life was precious in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the Lord.'” 1 Samuel 26:2,5,7-14,16-18,21-24
Had David been looking at this opportunity to kill Saul with his own eyes, the king would not have been alive. But through his life, David had developed a high view of God, and knew that His promises were true, no matter his circumstances. He had learned to honor God in His ways, His order, and to trust His word and timing. What many would have seen as a chance for certain rightful vengeance, David saw as a chance to glorify God and make Him known.
How often is our view of things tainted by selfish ambition, greed, petty touchiness, prejudice, or sinful desire? How prone are we to take things into our own hands, to manipulate circumstances for personal advantage, rights, or prominence? How might a long view help us handle current frustrations and lingering disappointments? How differently would we see and interact with people around us if we took on His sight? Might we care for them as more human than merely help or hindrance?
Oh Father, please transform my limited vision into a clear eternal perspective, that I see Your people and ways with sanctified eyes, and learn to respond and behave with wisdom and grace.