So David and Abishai came to the people by night, and behold, Saul lay sleeping inside the circle of the camp with his spear stuck in the ground at his head; and Abner and the people were lying around him. Then Abishai said to David, “Today God has delivered your enemy into your hand; now therefore, please let me strike him with the spear to the ground with one stroke, and I will not strike him the second time.”
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?”
David also said, “As the Lord lives, surely the Lord will strike him, or his day will come that he dies, or he will go down into battle and perish. The Lord forbid that I should stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed; but now please take the spear that is at his head and the jug of water, and let us go.”
1 Samuel 26:7-11 (NASB)
Opportunities aren’t always what they appear to be. Don’t be too quick to assume an opportunity is from God just because it’s in front of you. Christians talk a lot about God opening doors, and indeed he does. But we need to be discerning because not every open door is from God. David’s experience is a case in point. King Saul had made his life miserable for years. David’s days were spent on the run; his nights, hiding in caves. And all the while, David had to accept the fact that he, not Saul, was supposed to be the king.
Then it came! An incredible opportunity that would solve all David’s problems. There was Saul, asleep and defenseless at David’s feet! David’s friend immediately assumed this chance must be from God. Who would ever blame David for killing Saul? His friend even offered to do the job for him. But David knew God better than that. He understood that God would take care of Saul himself, in his own time. David was a warrior; he had taken many lives before. But this was different. Even though Saul had been his enemy, David realized that God had called Saul and that God would deal with Saul in his own way. So David spared Saul’s life. This would not be the last time he would do so. Ultimately, David did become king, and Saul did get what he deserved, but it wasn’t because David took matters into his own hands.
We, too, must distinguish between temptation and opportunity. What seems to make perfect sense to us may be totally contrary to God’s will. How can we know the difference? We must learn to know God’s heart as David did, and God will give us the ability to discern the difference.