Doing ‘GOOD’ to OUR ENEMIES as a WAY of LIFE: So it was, when David had finished speaking these words to Saul, that Saul said, "Is this your voice, my son David?" And Saul lifted up his voice and wept. Then he said to David: "You are more righteous than I; for you have rewarded me with good, whereas I have rewarded you with evil. And you have shown this day how you have dealt well with me; for when the Lord delivered me into your hand, you did not kill me. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him get away safely? Therefore may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done to me this day. (1 Sam 24:16-19)
David had been earlier described by Samuel as a “man after God’s own heart” (1 Sam. 13:14). The reason for this was because David was tender-hearted, even to his enemies. From the time King Saul started resenting David for his popularity, David had been behaving wisely in all his ways (1 Sam. 18:5, 14, 30) for the Spirit of the Lord was upon him from the time he was anointed with oil by Samuel to become the next king of Israel (1 Sam. 16:13).
From the time King Saul went public with his intentions to kill David; it was obvious that David could not lead a ‘normal’ life. He became a ‘wanted’ criminal to King Saul, and had to run away and be in hiding as a fugitive. King Saul became so brazen and vitriolic in his quest to kill David that he murdered 85 innocent priests of God, and every living person and animal in Nob, the city of the priests (1 Sam. 22:18-19). There was no doubt that King Saul would kill David without a moment’s hesitation if he ever got a chance!
It was then that David got a chance to kill King Saul instead. In fact, his own men encouraged him to do that, saying: “This is the day of which the Lord said to you, 'Behold, I will deliver your enemy into your hand that you may do to him as it seems good to you.'” (1 Sam 24:4). However, David was not willing to raise even his little finger against God’s anointed one for his knew that God expected him to repay evil with good only. So, all that David did was to cut a corner of King Saul’s robe just to keep as an evidence of his close encounter with King Saul.
However, David’s conscience was so tender that he was troubled after he cut off a corner of King Saul’s robe. He was humiliating the king, and David knew what it meant to respect authority, especially God’s authority over his life. This is what David told his men: "The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, to stretch out my hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the Lord." (1 Sam 24:6) David then restrained his men to punish King Saul and exact his revenge!
Instead of repaying Saul for his evil deeds, David saw an opportunity to show mercy (Matt. 5:7, 10–12). This is exactly what our Lord Jesus Christ also did: "who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously" (1 Peter 2:23). Let us follow their examples in our daily lives, and intentionally ‘do good’ to our enemies even when they scheme, plot and actively work against us! God will surely bless us for ‘doing good’ to our enemies as a way of life!