After David killed Goliath, King Saul put him in charge of his army. David won many battles, and he became very popular. Whenever David came home from war, the women would come out dancing and singing: ‘Saul has struck down thousands, and David has struck down tens of thousands!’ Saul became jealous of David and wanted to kill him.
David could play the harp very well. One day while David was playing the harp for Saul, the king hurled his spear at him. David dodged it just in time, and the spear shot into the wall. After that, Saul tried many more times to kill David. Eventually, David ran away and hid in the desert.
Saul took an army of 3,000 men and went hunting for David. He happened to enter the very cave where David and his men were hiding. David’s men whispered: ‘This is your chance to kill Saul.’ David crept toward Saul and cut off a piece of the king’s coat. Saul did not notice. Afterward, David felt very bad that he had not shown respect for Jehovah’s anointed king. He did not allow his men to attack Saul. He even called out to Saul, saying that he could have killed Saul when he had the chance. Would Saul change his mind about David?
No. Saul kept hunting for David. One night David and his nephew Abishai sneaked into Saul’s camp. Even Abner, Saul’s bodyguard, was sleeping. Abishai said: ‘This is our chance! Let me kill him.’ David replied: ‘Jehovah will deal with Saul. Let’s just take his spear and his water jug and go.’
David climbed a nearby mountain that overlooked Saul’s camp. He shouted: ‘Abner, why didn’t you protect your king? Where are Saul’s jug and spear?’ Saul recognized David’s voice and said: ‘You could have killed me, but you did not. I know that you will be the next king of Israel.’ Saul went back to his palace. But not all in Saul’s family hated David.
“If possible, as far as it depends on you, be peaceable with all men. Do not avenge yourselves, beloved, but yield place to the wrath.”—Romans 12:18, 19