If it weren’t for potty breaks, we wouldn’t get to see God’s mercy in this chapter. I love how we get the human side of people in this story. In other words, we see that kings pee in caves like everyone else and that this territory was so familiar to the Israelites in the community that we get directions from landmarks like “near the rocks of the wild goats” and “where the road passes some sheepfolds.” I don’t know what a sheepfold is, do you? That’s a new word for me, and I like it.
Besides the beautiful example of familiarity we see in some of the text today, we also see God’s great mercy and design. David just had a hunch that he shouldn’t kill King Saul, even though his action would likely have been supported by most of Israel. He waited. And his restraint allowed David to do something even better: he was able to convince Saul that by not killing him he was even more worthy to wear the crown. Saul even cried about the thought of his life being spared, and in that humble, human moment, Saul managed to preserve his family line (and members of the once-dwindling tribe of Benjamin, don’t forget) for future generations. Maybe by that time, Saul decided that was the best he was going to get, especially after being such a stubborn ruler for so long. It’s a little hard to guess how Saul is feeling, though. He’s wobbled back and forth so much, that I don’t trust him anymore. His words mean little to me. He’s become much like the little boy who cried wolf.
Writing prompt: the little boy who cried wolf
“The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf” is a folk tale meant to teach children a lesson about lying. Have you heard it? If not, look it up today and compare Saul’s actions with the folk tale. Write about God’s mercy in this particular situation or think of one of your own “folk tales” that coincides with the little boy who cried wolf.