David spares the king's life - Catholic Courier

David spares the king’s life

David spares the king’s life
Bible Accent: Oil
Saint for Today: St. Luke the Younger

David spares the king’s life

David’s scouts reported that Saul was pursuing him, and that the soldiers in his camp were well-armed and well-trained. David led several of his men to the top of a hill, being careful to stay concealed behind the shrubbery.

Saul’s men had built a barricade between the camp and the hill, and soldiers in armor, carrying swords and spears, were patrolling the perimeter. Several fires for cooking were burning and men not guarding were busy setting up tents or continuing to establish the camp. One tent was larger than all of the others and displayed a flag with Saul’s royal crest on it. Guards protected it on all sides. Saul was standing outside the doorway to his tent, talking to Abner, one of his top generals.

David tapped one of his men on the shoulder and whispered, “Who will go down to the camp with me to Saul?”

The man, whose name was Abishai, answered, “I will.”

David waited until night had engulfed the hill and all of the land around it. He said a prayer of thanksgiving because God had given them an overcast sky which blocked out any starlight that might give away his position as he tried to sneak into Saul’s camp.

David and Abishai removed any of their gear that might rattle as they moved and set out into the darkness. But they did not have to worry. God had put everyone in the camp into a deep sleep. Saul was in his tent with his spear, stuck in the ground next to his head, at the ready.

Abishai pointed at Saul. “God has delivered your enemy into your grasp this day. Let me nail him to the ground with one thrust of the spear.”

David shook his head. “Do not harm him, for who can lay hands on the Lord’s anointed and remain unpunished? Take the spear which is at his head and let us be on our way.” David and Abishai returned to their own camp. Still not a single of Saul’s soldiers stirred, for they were still in a deep slumber.

When the first rays of the sun broke the sky, David called Saul’s name. The entire camp came out to hear. Then David said, “Here is the king’s spear. Let an attendant come over to get it. The Lord will reward each man for his faithfulness.”


1 Samuel 26


1. Who was chasing David?

2. Why didn’t David hurt Saul?

Bible Accent: Oil

Oil is a very important symbol in the Bible, especially when it is used as part of a ritual to anoint someone. The church uses oil in several of the sacraments.

Places or objects could be declared holy after being anointed with oil, such as when Jacob anointed a pillar at Bethel. Sometimes oil represents being given power or taking an important position. Aaron was anointed when he became a priest. Many of the Israelite kings were anointed when they received their authority. That is why David referred to Saul as “God’s anointed one.”

The Hebrew phrase for anointed one was mashiah, a word we know as messiah. The Greek word is Christos, which we know as Christ. In The Acts of the Apostles, Peter proclaimed that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power.” (Acts 10:38).

Saint for Today: St. Luke the Younger

Luke the Younger intended to live the simple life of a Greek farmer and a shepherd. He often shared whatever he had with those who were in need.

After the death of his father, Luke felt a strong call to pursue a religious life. On his way to visit a monastery, he was captured by soldiers who mistook him for a slave trying to escape. He was put in prison until his identity could be proven. He then returned home.

Two visiting monks agreed to chaperone Luke to a monastery. Later, the monastery superior told Luke he had a vision that Luke’s mother needed him. So Luke returned home and finally convinced his mother to let him become a monk. He was 18 and built a hermitage where he spent the rest of his life. He died in 964. We remember him on Feb. 7.

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