Day 117: Reverence and Faithfulness

1 Samuel 26:1-25 In an account that neatly parallels that of Chapter 24, David again had an opportunity to slay the pursuing Saul but chose to spare him to show his loyalty. As before, Saul repented.

Psalm 56 The psalmist was being pursued and threatened again, and while he wanted relief and protection, he was also willing to be martyred.

What can flesh do to me?: This refers to the man of the earth, in his fallen state of concupiscence, prone to illness and death. The writer meant that though his enemies could physically injure him or even kill him, they could not rob him of his faith and trust in God. For this reason, he did not fear death. This is the fundamental theme of this psalm.

Put my tears in your bottle: God, being omniscient, knows all our thoughts, words, actions, and emotions; as St. Augustine said, “To talk too much in prayer is to speak of a vital and urgent theme using too many unnecessary words...For often the purpose of prayer is achieved by tears and sighs, rather than by our words and phrases” (Epistolae, 130, 10, 20). (CCC 990)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

  • So here is Saul in Ch 24 who repented of trying to kill David when David cut off a piece of Saul’s cloak as he was relieving himself

  • But in Ch 26, here is Saul again seeking David’s life

  • But David has 3 CRITICAL VIRTUES





  • David is saying it’s not his job to take JUSTICE OR REVENGE upon the Lord’s ANOINTED

  • Abishai, David’s comrade in arms, who is down in the encampment with David offers to kill Saul

  • David shows MERCY and makes it clear that’s not his job

  • As David treats Saul, may the Lord treat him

  • As David held Saul’s life to be precious, may the Lord hold David’s life to be precious

  • We see a pre-echo of what Jesus is going to talk about when he gives us THE OUR FATHER


  • David is sort of doing the reverse of that

  • David is basically saying, “As I am treating others, please Lord treat me”

  • THAT is how David is showing MERCY


  • Then David shows the virtue of REVERENCE

  • David recognizes why he is preserving the life of Saul, who keeps trying to kill him

  • There is only one reason

  • The reason is because Saul REMAINS THE LORD’S ANOINTED

  • Even though Saul is not living in a virtuous way, he is living in an evil way, David still has REVERENCE for things of God

  • Since Saul has been ANOINTED

  • Since Saul has been CONSECRATED

  • Saul BELONGS TO GOD, even if he is not living like it

  • David shows FAITHFULNESS

  • We have highlighted this many times in his psalms, which often have to do with the fact that David does not know the next step

  • David does not know how God is going to DELIVER HIM

  • David does not know how God is going to FREE HIM

  • David does not know how God is going to FIGHT FOR HIM


  • That is what it means to WALK IN FAITHFULNESS

  • We DON’T KNOW the next step

  • We DON’T KNOW where this will ultimately lead

  • BUT…


  • So how do we cultivate these virtues of MERCY, REVERENCE, and FAITHFULNESS?

  • All of us have battles as well

  • For David, it was an UNFAIR BATTLE

  • He did nothing wrong up to this point

  • There is no reason for Saul to seek to kill David except for Saul’s own ENVY

  • In the midst of that incredible injustice, here is David who says “I will continue to show MERCY.”

  • “In the face of Saul treating me as if I am nothing, I will show him REVERENCE”

  • “In the face of not knowing where this is leading, I will walk in FAITHFULNESS”

  • For all of us, even though this reading today is briefer than most, it also has a message of POWER for us

  • We are walking with David for a long time to come

  • David walks as a MAN OF FAITH

  • BUT…

  • David also walks as a HUMAN BEING WITH WEAKNESSES

  • So Saul is soon to be replaced as the king by David

  • David’s own weaknesses, his woundedness, and his unfaithfulness will be highlighted as well

  • We need to take the lessons from David the VIRTUOUS

  • We need to take the lessons from David the FALLIBLE

  • We need to take the lessons from David the WEAK

  • Some days we are VIRTUOUS

  • Some days we are WEAK

  • Some days we are FAITHFUL

  • Some days we are UNFAITHFUL



  • We are on day 117 and we STILL have new people showing up every single day

  • We are letting the Lord speak to us, illuminate our minds, shape our vision, and put the fire of His love into our hearts

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven, we give you praise and we give you glory. We thank you for this day. We thank you for this brief time, briefer than normal, this time of just exposing ourselves to your Word and to hear your voice. Thank you for reminding us of the virtue of mercy. Thank you for reminding us of the virtue of reverence. Thank you for reminding us of the virtue of faithfulness. In your name, we ask you to please help us to be merciful, to be reverent, and to be faithful. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”