After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom do you pursue? A dead dog? A flea?
David twice spares Saul’s life: 24:1-26:25. Now Saul dedicates himself to hunting David down. On two occasions David has the opportunities to kill Saul — but will not. God has made Saul king. David will not life his hand against God’s anointed, even though his own life is threatened.
10 Look, this day your eyes have seen that the Lord delivered you today into my hand in the cave, and someone urged me to kill you. But my eye spared you, and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.’
12 Let the Lord judge between you and me, and let the Lord avenge me on you. But my hand shall not be against you. … 15 Therefore let the Lord be judge, and judge between you and me, and see and plead my case, and deliver me out of your hand.”
17 Then he said to David: “You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil.
–> Acknowledging that David is more righteous than himself did not change Saul’s character. His feelings of gratitude dissipated quickly and he continued to try to kill David. Human feelings and emotions are so unreliable. Saul did not see God who had made him a king. He just saw the fact that his life was spared by David.
David was not naive when he spared Saul’s life. His action is based upon his fear of and faith in God.
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast (Psalm 57:7)