Useful Bible Studies > 1 Samuel Commentary > chapter 26

It is better to please God than to achieve your ambitions

1 Samuel 26:22-24

‘Evil people do evil things’ (24:13). ‘God rewards people who behave in a loyal and right manner’ (26:23). Such were the explanations that David gave to Saul of his (David’s) attitudes.

In these statements, David showed a simple and clear desire to do what is right and good. He believed that there is a difference between right and wrong behaviour. He wanted God to approve of his actions. So he refused to carry out evil deeds.

On two occasions, David had the opportunity to kill Saul. David knew that God wanted him to be Israel’s king. If David killed Saul, that would be an easy way for him to become king. However, God did not approve of it. That fact was clear to David because God does not approve of any evil act. So, David twice refused to do it.

We may think that such attitudes are the attitudes of a holy man rather than a great king. Rulers usually use clever schemes to achieve their ambitions, whether those schemes are good or not. However, David was both a holy man and a great king. He considered it more important to do what is right than to achieve his ambitions. It was much better to be a good man than to be famous, important or powerful.

David’s explanation of his own attitudes also shows us why Saul’s attitudes were wrong. Saul had chosen not to be loyal to God (15:16-26). He carried out evil deeds on purpose (for example 1 Samuel 22:16-18). He thought that such acts would make his rule stronger. He was wrong, because God did not approve of his wicked behaviour.

Next part: Saul blesses David (1 Samuel 26:25)


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© 2014, Keith Simons.