7…David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the army lay around him. 8 Then Abishai said to David, “God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear…” 9 But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless?” 10 And David said, “As the Lord lives, the Lord will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. 11 The Lord forbid that I should put out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.
(1 Samuel 26)
There lay David’s enemy who was trying to kill him—Saul, whom David earlier had the opportunity to kill while Saul was relieving himself in a cave (1 Samuel 24:3-7). Saul had been hunting down David in order to kill him. David learned, I assume, from the conviction he felt after cutting Saul’s robe that he was not to touch the one whom God had anointed king. David learned & was content to wait.
Abishai was with David at this moment, and he saw it as an opportunity (given by God) to rid them of their enemy. Abishai even offered to “do the dirty work” for David. Abishai believed that this was truly a gift from God, but David knew better. His previous experience told him that even though this would be a very tempting thing to do, God was in control , and He makes all things appropriate in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
David would not usurp the role that was God’s alone.
Still, there is often great uncertainty while we wait. David penned Psalm 108 which states (in part, vv.11-12):
Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies. Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man.
Sometimes there is massive doubt, accompanied by great temptation to launch out in our own strength to solve the problems in our lives. David could have easily killed Saul and then risen to power (He was already God’s appointed replacement for Saul). He would easily have had the support of the people of Israel. David’s life was in danger because Saul was seeking to kill him.
In these times it is EASY to feel that we have been abandoned by God (have you not rejected us, O God?). In these times we can second guess ourselves and God–sometimes even doubting God’s existence or at least His power to do anything about our troubles.
Still, the Psalm closes with David’s calm assurance (v.13):
With God we shall do valiantly, it is He who will tread down our foes!
In spite of the pain & suffering that David was experiencing, he knew in his heart of hearts that God would answer and that He would “make all things appropriate in His time.” If we will obey God and do what is right, what He has called us to do, He will do the same for us:
No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, and no mind has imagined, what God has planned for those who love Him.
(1 Corinthians 2:9)