Here we see Saul consumed by jealous hatred of David, seeing conspiracy and betrayal everywhere – even among the priests whom David has tricked into aiding his escape. He is not yet so obsessed with David that he will not turn aside to fight a Philistines attack, but his focus is on protecting his own position against an imagined enemy than on the good of his kingdom.
David chooses a different path. Even hard pressed by Saul, he goes to the rescue of a town besieged by the Philistines and then, when he has the perfect opportunity to kill Saul, instead cuts off a corner of the king’s cloak to prove what he could have done had he chosen. So he chooses to show his loyalty to Saul – because of his loyalty to the LORD. He offers forgiveness in place of revenge, loyalty and even love in place of resentment.
David chooses not to be defined by Saul’s hostility to him. It will not make him forget his duty to lead the fight against the enemies of Saul and of Israel. Nor will it make him seek revenge, or even lead him to speed up the day when his own anointing will be fulfilled and he will be king in turn. David knows who he is and what he should do – and nothing will (yet) turn him aside.
How sure am I of who I am and what God is calling me to do? And what are the biggest risks that will lead me astray from it?