Today’s Reading: 1 SAMUEL 23:13-29, PSALM 54, 1 SAMUEL 24:1-25:44
If you knew me well you would know that I am big fan of watching movies. It started when I was a baby boomer tied to the television in the 1970’s. And then in the 1980’s when VCRs and VHS became very popular and then continued even stronger when DVDs came out.
- I love movies that tell a good story (The Apostle).
- I love movies that make a point(Amazing Grace).
- I love movies that allow me to escape (Lord of the Rings Trilogy).
- I love movies about the history of war (Patton).
- I love movies that are considered classics (Casablanca).
- I love movies that document something (When we were Kings).
- I love movies that have become family tradition for us (It’s a Wonderful Life).
- I love movies that make me cry at least three time every time I watch them (again, It’s a Wonderful Life).
- I love movies that help guys win the hearts of girls named Lisy (again, It’s a Wonderful Life).
- I love movies!
In today’s reading we have a scene right out of the movies. Let me set it up.
Our hero is a good guy. He is handsome and well liked. He comes from humble beginnings, but now he has become a leader of men. He is wrongly accused and victimized. He is now running for his life from the evil ruler. He keeps narrowly escaping peril and death. In Hollywood the would put Ian McGregor or Russel Crowe in the role of the hero and one of these 10 guys as the evil king.
- Scene 47: Daytime, in the dessert, in a dark cave. Our hero and his men are being chased, they hide in a cave during the day and move about during the night. As they are hiding in a cave the villain enters the cave to relieve himself. Our hero sees this as a perfect opportunity to show up the villain. He silently moves over to cut a piece of cloth off the robe of the evil king. He lets the king live.
- The evil king finishes his business in the cave and leaves to rejoin his forces outside the cave. They move off.
- In a Hollywood movie the next lines of dialog would go something like this:
- Hero: (Yelling from the cave entrance) – Hey, evil king – I am over here?
- Evil King: (surprised and dumbfounded) – Who is that? Is that you hero?
- Hero: Yea, it is me you idiot! I just let you live, you loser. I could have killed you right here on the spot.
- Evil King: (fear and embarrassment on face) Why didn’t you?
- Hero: (in a proud and boastful voice) Because I enjoy the chase. I want to let you think about how I am going to kill you. I want you to sweat in your sleep and look over your shoulder when you are awake. I want you to fear me.
- Evil King: ( in anger and rage) I will get you, you missed your chance and you will have not more. (evil laugh ha, ha, ha, haaaaaaaaaaaaaa).
But that is the way Hollywood would write it. Today we read a different version of this scene in I Samuel 24.
As you know David is our hero and King Saul is the evil king. We have the same scene until David cuts off the piece of the robe:
I Samuel 24:5 – 7 (NLT)
5 But then David’s conscience began bothering him because he had cut Saul’s robe. 6 “The Lord knows I shouldn’t have done that to my lord the king,” he said to his men. “The Lord forbid that I should do this to my lord the king and attack the Lord’s anointed one, for the Lord himself has chosen him.” 7 So David restrained his men and did not let them kill Saul.
The hero in our story has a conscious and is debating points of morality. Our hero acknowledges the existence of God. Our hero shows restraint.
The king leaves the cave and the hero calls out to him. David calls out to King Saul and explains that he could have killed Saul but that he didn’t. David goes on to explain why not:
I Samuel 24:12 – 15 (NLT)
12 “May the Lord judge between us. Perhaps the Lord will punish you for what you are trying to do to me, but I will never harm you. 13 As that old proverb says, ‘From evil people come evil deeds.’ So you can be sure I will never harm you. 14 Who is the king of Israel trying to catch anyway? Should he spend his time chasing one who is as worthless as a dead dog or a single flea? 15 May the Lord therefore judge which of us is right and punish the guilty one. He is my advocate, and he will rescue me from your power!”
In our scene the hero leaves justice to God. He does not take into his own hands. Our hero, David, recognizes that it is the Lord who will rescue him.
Isn’t that the way it is so often with our culture – they too often exclude God from their movies. They too often exclude God from their frame of reference. They do not take into account His existence. They do not acknowledge that there are people in this world, like you and I, who do use God’s Word and His will as a way to deal with our enemies and the battles we fight in life.
Don’t let Hollywood determine your response to the scenes in your life – get His Word into your life and use it for as the script writer of the scenes in your life.