Modeling the Golden Rule

In I Samuel 26, David and Abishai stealthily crept into Saul’s camp and came upon him while he was sleeping. Abishai took this as God’s providence, and as the chance to do away with Saul. But David stopped him. Verse 9 says: “But David said to Abishai, ‘Do not destroy him, for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be without guilt?'”

This is now the second time David has had an opportunity to kill Saul, and did not. Both times he mentioned the same reason for his reticence: he would not lift his hand against God’s anointed. (See also Chapter 24:6)

It is not insignificant that David HIMSELF was also God’s anointed!

Samuel had anointed him to take Saul’s place one day (I Samuel 16:13). Therefore in a very real sense, David was living out the principle of treating Saul the way that he himself would want to be treated: he was living out the Golden Rule that Jesus verbalized in the New Testament in Matthew 7:12, “Whatever you want others to do for you, do so for them …”.

It is also instructive that by teaching his men a respect for God’s anointed in regard to Saul, his enemy, David was also teaching them to respect HIM in the same way, when he would be king, and not to raise their hands against him!

All of this has application for us as well. We should treat others the way that we ourselves would want to be treated — even our enemies. And as we do it, we are subtly — but very powerfully — instructing our associates in the way that they should treat US some day as well!

About Shawn Thomas

My blog,, provides brief devotions from own personal daily Bible reading, as well as some of my sermons, book reviews, and family life experiences.
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