Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 24:1-22; 1 Corinthians 1:26-2:16
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. (1 Samuel 24:17)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. David had been selected by the Lord to replace Saul as King, yet while Saul was still King, David wouldn’t touch him or hurt him. Over and over again, David has the chance to hurt or even kill Saul. But he won’t do it!
Here David is a picture of Christ who refuses to fight back against those who hate and try to kill Him, and DO kill Him. “Father, forgive them,” He prays from the cross. In the Garden of Gethsemane, He lets Himself be led away rather than call in angelic reinforcements to smite the bad guys.
In all of this, Jesus is teaching us that if God were to just destroy His enemies, there would be no one left. Not Saul, not the Pharisees and Sadducees, not us. Rather, instead of doing harm to us, Jesus treats us righteously with God’s version of “righteous.” That means Jesus taking the hit for us. Jesus taking our sins and their judgment. Jesus paying the price. It means we go free. We are forgiven. We are saved.
David is a picture of Jesus in many ways. In particular, he shows us by his treatment of Saul how the Son of David comes not to destroy His enemies but spare their lives and save them. So Jesus comes not to destroy us but spare us and save us. As proof of his mercy, David shows Saul the piece of his cloak he cut off. As proof of Christ’s mercy, He has given us a whole cloak, a garment of righteousness in Baptism. He has given us His Word and Body and Blood. All of these are the proofs and signs of His promise that He spares us and lets us live. More than that, He gives us new and everlasting life. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Jesus in Your dying woes, Even while Your lifeblood flows, Craving pardon for Your foes: Hear us, holy Jesus. (Jesus, In Your Dying Woes, LSB 447:1)