David and Saul Close Encounters: Saul in Pursuit of David

Responding to an Oppressor


After David left Saul’s service, Saul went after him to hunt him down and kill him, because he saw David as a threat to continuation of his kingdom. David, with a team of about 400 men, moved frequently to evade Saul. Twice he had good opportunity to kill Saul but did not kill him because of his great respect for Saul as God’s anointed king of Israel.

In each case, David took something close to Saul’s body as evidence that he was there but chose not to harm Saul, then moved to a safe distance and confronted Saul verbally. In the confrontation, he emphasized he had done nothing wrong, Saul had no just reason to seek his life, he will not retaliate against Saul because of reverence to Saul’s position of authority in Israel. Then he prayed God to judge between him and Saul. In each case, Saul expressed remorse and asked for forgiveness.

David’s actions during these encounters with Saul illustrate important principles for responding to an oppressor.

  1. Protect yourself against the oppression.
  2. Break the cycle of retaliation by not seeking vengeance.
  3. Talk to the oppressor
  4. Identify his wrong
  5. Provide him opportunity to repent
  6. Explain why you are not seeking vengeance.

A good reason for not seeking vengeance is God created us to love and care for each other, even those that hurt us.

More Information

Please join us as we examine more details of David’s response to Saul while Saul tried to hunt him down and kill him. You can play the video or audio files or download the audio or pdf files.



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