“I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands.” I Sam 24:20
This particular awareness was the reason that made Saul pursue David so relentlessly. He was the king of Israel and someone was about to take his position.
Why was David even a threat to him at all?
I don’t think Saul knew at this time that Samuel had anointed David as the next king of Israel, but he suspected that he had lost favor with the judge and his position as a king was becoming more and more precarious. Saul might have lost the support of God, but he was still trying with all his might to keep the support of men.
There was very little fear of God in Saul at this moment and his whole being was consumed with the thought of keeping his throne for himself and his son. Even though he was aware of God’s plan for David, he still had no intention to submit to it.
Saul was kicking against the goads. He wasn’t battling against David; he was fighting against God. I hope that we would never take such a dangerous stand.
Oftentimes battles are won by surrendering.
Saul could have won the battle against David by easing into retirement, knowing that the time for him to depart from center stage had already come. Had he done that, he would have won the battle against his worst enemy - himself.
We will have to submit to God one way or another and, ultimately, we will have to submit our lives to him as well. “I have a journey, sir, shortly to go; my Master calls me, and I must not say no,” said Earl of Kent in King Lear. Death is our final submission to God and it takes daily submission in small matters our entire life to get to that point. The more we practice in little things, the easier it will get when the bell tolls to us.
Is the little corner of the world we have carved out for ourselves our kingdom and our domain, which we will not easily let go? We survey all we have everyday and enjoy physical and emotional pleasure to the fullest. We look at our houses and cars with admiration and the accolades we have earned with satisfaction and secretly exclaim: “ I am great!”
We may fare a lot worse than the first king of Israel. We do have a lot to lose and surely will fight to the very end to keep someone from taking our kingdom away. King Lear might have divided his kingdom and handed it to his daughters, but he never perceived himself as less than a king with all the entitlement and privileges.
Wang, the wealthiest man on the island of Taiwan, was surveying his business empire in the States when he had a heart attack and died. He was holding onto his plastic kingdom tightly even in his nineties, yet he had to give it up at the end, kicking and screaming.
We will never be truly happy unless we master the important lesson of giving up. How miserable it was for Saul to try to hold onto his kingdom when it was time to give it up to the next man.