King Saul was on the hunt, but he wasn't pursuing another army or some vile enemy of Israel. He was hoping to kill David, the man God had anointed to take his place on the throne. Along the way, Saul entered a cave. Unbeknownst to the murderous king, David crept up slowly behind him and cut off a corner of his robe. It wasn't until Saul was back out in the wilderness that he heard David shouting from the mouth of the cave: "Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, ‘I will not lay my hand on my lord, because he is the Lord's anointed'" (1 Samuel 24:10).
Read Psalm 37. Have you ever wondered why some of the world's most wicked people seem to prosper? "Nice guys finish last," the saying goes—and looking around, it often seems true. David must have felt this way as he thought of King Saul, safe and warm in his palace, while he was on the run in the wilderness, fleeing for his life. How, then, could David let Saul go free after he had wandered into his hideout?
David knew a Truth that the Bible declares from Genesis to Revelation: God is a righteous Judge.
David knew a Truth that the Bible declares from Genesis to Revelation, from "In the beginning . . ." to the final "Amen": God is a righteous Judge. He will make everything right in the end. Saul may have been winning in that moment, but David knew God would not allow his crimes to go unpunished forever. In fact, he was so confident of this that he stayed his hand in that cave, leaving vengeance to God.
Years later, King David reflected on those early years and God's faithfulness to him—how God protected him, took care of him, guided him through the fire and the flood, and brought him to the highest position in Israel. In Psalm 37, David wrote, "The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming" (vv. 12–13).
The lesson for all of us is this: Don't sweat it when you see the temporary success of the wicked. Keep calm and look up to Your heavenly Father, for, "A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity" (vv. 10-11).
Prayer: Lord, thank You for Your justice and mercy. May I be filled with compassion, remembering Your grace for me, and also find comfort in the promise that evil will receive Your righteous judgment. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity" (Psalm 37:10-11).