King David was a remarkable man after God’s own heart. David was a man that lived by principle, not by appearance. He was a warrior who knew many victories, but perhaps his greatest victory was the one over his own spirit when he became subject to kingdom authority.
In 1 Samuel 24, David is hiding in a cave after King Saul has put a bounty on his head. King Saul comes into the cave, unaware that David and his men are hiding just out of sight.
David has the opportunity to kill Saul, the man actively trying to kill him. But he does not; instead, he shows us how to behave in a cave when no one else is watching. He refuses to take vengeance and acts as according to Scripture: “Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).
As David did, we should recognize authority. David knew that he had no right to take Saul’s life because Saul was David’s king—bad king, sure, but he was God’s chosen and anointed king.
There is no king, no power, no ruler that has not been ordained of God. Therefore, to rebel against authority is to rebel against God. We must make a practice of submitting to leadership. We should also respect authority.
If the authority in question commands us to do something that is contrary to the Word of God, we should obey God rather than men. But we must be sure that even when we disobey our appointed leader, we have a warrant from Scripture. And even still, we act in a manner that respects the leader’s authority.
Finally, we should rest in kingdom authority. God took care of Saul, and God will take care of our enemies as we learn to rest in the Lord.
Apply it to your life
Adrian Rogers says, “Is there anybody or anything that you have a rebellious spirit about? Let me ask you this question: Have you submitted to the King of kings? That’s where it all begins — by giving your heart to Jesus Christ. And when you get under the authority of Jesus Christ, under the authority of the Word of God, under the authority of those that God has put over you, you’re going to find yourself living, praying, speaking, and acting with incredible authority.”