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Gospel Glimpses from an Engedi Cave
8/31 Reading Portions: 1 Samuel 24; 1 Corinthians 5; Ezekiel 3; Psalm 39
Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe…. “After whom has the king of Israel come out? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog! After a flea!” 1 Samuel 24:4, 14
Saul, pursuing David to kill him, turned aside to a cave by the sheepfolds and literally “went in to cover his feet” (1 Sam 24:3, KJV); in other words, take a nap, or as the ESV puts it, “relieve himself.” David and his men were already deep inside the cave. David’s men suggested that YHVH God had given Saul into David’s hand (1 Sam 24:4a). David did not take Saul’s life, but instead, cut off the “corner” of Saul’s garment. This may have been the cord of blue, which is in each corner of the garment, as the LORD commanded fringes along the hem and blue cords in the corners to remind the people of God’s commandments and His holiness (Num 15:37-41). Although we will meditate upon the prophetic typology, this was certainly an event which truly, actually, and historically took place.
In the fourth verse, Saul, king of Israel, is a type of almighty God, resting from the work of His creation. In the darkness of the cave, David is a type of Adam, and though anointed to be king (1 Sam 16:13) just as Adam was given dominion over the earth (Gen 1:28), David cutting off a corner of Saul’s robe was a picture of Adam stealthily disobeying the commandment of God not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden (Gen 2:17).
In the fourteenth verse, David pleads with Saul as a penitent man with a changed heart (1 Sam 24:5), exemplifying himself as a type of Jesus Christ, who hung upon the cross on behalf of sinners He would redeem; being One who was as a dead dog or a flea.
Although Christ Jesus was perfect, sinless, and needed not to repent before almighty God, He did, and does so, before God in order that sinful man’s repentance may be received by a holy God. Jesus took the full brunt of God’s holy justice when He hung upon Calvary’s cross, for He was disciplined “with rebukes for sin” He did not commit and was “consumed like a moth” so we might have dear, precious, eternal life (Psa 39:11).
Jesus Christ, the blessed Lord,
Sinless, perfect Son of God;
Save us and lead us by Your Word
Until all heav’n and earth applaud.
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