I Samuel 24:3-7 3 He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. 4 The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he saidto you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” 7 With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way.
When you gotta go, you gotta go. I guess this could be a problem, huh? Saul obviously had his guard down (and his pants) in 1 Samuel 24. He went into a cave to relieve himself and forgot to lock the door. David was actually hiding in the bathroom, I mean, the back of the cave where Saul was doing his business. He had a prime opportunity to kill Saul while he was completely defenseless. (That would have been a tragic way to go!) But David honored the fact that Saul was the king. Even though Saul was evil and should have been charged with attempted murder on several occasions, he was still on the throne. So David didn’t touch him. Regardless of character, David knew he was still called by God to be a servant of Saul.
I’m sure we have all had a leader in our lives who had less than stellar character. When we have leaders like that, it would almost be a dream come true to have an opportunity to do them in. And sometimes we do. No, not murder them… I hope. But we can murder their reputation or kill their place of authority in our hearts. We grumble, complain, bad mouth them, and defy their instructions – all because they have terrible leadership skills.
This should not be the response of a Christian. The Bible clearly tells us that we should respect our leaders, both good ones and bad ones. Whether they are in a place of spiritual or practical leadership, we are to respect them because they are put in our lives by God. I know what you are thinking – why would God put that leader in my life? Well, why did God put Saul in David’s life? That’s just how it happens sometimes. We might desperately need a job and God provides. And maybe a lousy boss comes with that job. That’s just life. He or she is still the boss. We should learn from David how to respond to bad leadership. His obedience to the Lord had higher value in his heart than his desire to get rid of Saul.