“Grandpa, I’m tired of sitting still,” Edward said, twisting in his seat. “Can you tell us a story?”
“Please, Grandpa,” said Sammy. It was a long trip for little boys.
“Shall I tell a story about sitting still?” Grandpa asked with a twinkle in his eye. When both boys nodded, he began….
(Reference: 1 Samuel 24:1-7; Psalm 25:17-20.)
I am sure you remember the story of David, the giant-killer. You remember him as a fearless shepherd boy and brave soldier. He is a hero of every daring boy. But it wasn’t a test of courage that this story is about. No, it was a test of David’s inner strength—to do what was right, when he was tempted to do wrong.
David was in trouble with the king. It seems quite unfair, but King Saul was afraid that the brave young soldier would take over his kingdom. So he plotted to kill him. What trouble David was in now! Fleeing for his life, he found himself hiding in mountain caves with a band of debtors and discontent men.
Those days were fearful ones. David was being hunted as a criminal, and the king sentenced the death of anyone that would help him. But up in the cave David turned to the Lord, who had never once failed him. “Deliver me, for I put my trust in Thee,” he prayed. “O bring me out of my distresses!”
One day the distress came very close. Saul’s army was after him again, and from his lookout in the cave David could see thousands of soldiers pressing up the slope. Suddenly a figure appeared in the opening of the cave and David’s men flattened themselves against the walls. What a surprise it was to see the king himself step in and lay down to sleep at their feet! “See, the Lord has delivered you!” David’s men whispered, excitedly. “Saul is in your power now!”
It certainly seemed that David’s chance had come. But as David stepped close to the sleeping man, he saw not his enemy filled with cruel hatred, but his king. “I must not stretch out my hand against him,” the brave warrior said, looking at the knife in his hand, “the Lord has made him king.” So it was the royal robe lying on the rocks that he cut in the trembling stillness. But, oh! Had he done the right thing?
The restless men shifted unhappily. Why was their leader wasting time? He held them back with an upraised hand. “The Lord forbid that I should hurt my master,” he said, earnestly. It was terribly hard for those strong men to stand still and watch their bitter enemy rise up and leave that cave. But as David held that strip of royal hem, he knew he had in his hand the proof of his faithfulness.
Sammy sighed happily as the story finished. “I’m glad he didn’t kill King Saul,” he said. “That would have been bad.”
“I know what happened next,” Edward said, eagerly. “David came out and Saul was so surprised! He must have been really sorry for chasing him when he found out that David didn’t kill him.”
“Why do you think David was afraid to kill King Saul?” asked Grandpa. “He had been so fearless and brave before. What made him stand still?”
“Well, I guess it was because he knew it would be wrong,” Edward said, slowly. “It was really brave to let King Saul go, wasn’t it? I think that showed he was a real hero.”
“Yes, it is by passing the tests that God proves what we really are,” Grandpa agreed. “I hope you boys want to come out real champions and be fearless for right.”