Reading through the Bible together
While Saul went to repel the Philistine raiders (see chapter 23:27-28), David took refuge in the caves near the oasis of En Gedi, which is located about mid-way of the western shore of the Dead Sea.
Saul with three thousand “chosen men” came looking for him. Needing to relieve himself, Saul entered alone into the same cave where David was hiding, took off his robe, and laid it to one side. Some of his men whispered to David, “Now is your chance! The Lord has put Saul into your hands!” David crept up to where Saul had placed his robe and sliced off a corner of Saul’s robe and crept back. David did not go near Saul and did not let anyone else go near him. He said, “The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord’s anointed.”
When Saul put on his robe and had left the cave, David came out and made his appeal. He was not plotting against Saul, why was Saul seeking to kill him? Saul’s heart was touched, but David did not trust Saul's promises and remained remained “in the strongholds.”
If David had killed Saul, he would have been acting like the king himself. But he trusted his case to the Lord, who had promised him the throne of Israel. He would wait for God’s time. He knew God's promise: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay” (Deut.32:35). In so doing, David showed the Spirit of Christ when He said, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:44).
Retired Professor and Missionary