Red Village Church

David Spares Saul’s Life – 1 Samuel 24: 1-22

When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, “Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.” 2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Wildgoats’ Rocks. 3 And he came to the sheepfolds by the way, where there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself.[b] Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave. 4 And the men of David said to him, “Here is the day of which the Lord said to you, ‘Behold, I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it shall seem good to you.’” Then David arose and stealthily cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 5 And afterward David’s heart struck him, because he had cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. 6 He said to his men, “The Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, the Lord’s anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord’s anointed.”

1 Sam. 24:1-6 (ESV)

This past week, I had a phone call conversation with a good buddy from seminary who, over the years, has had some really hard and difficult things to walk through, including the church he planted that shut down.


He has had multiple people in his family pass away, including a 20-year-old daughter who died due to complications connected to a seizure.


So, just some really awful, painful, difficult things to try to walk through. And as we talked this week and caught up a bit, he told me that one of the lessons he continues to learn through life is the challenges of life. Through all of the pain and difficulty of life, the lesson is that we just have to hold on loosely.


Because we never know when the Lord might give or might take away.


And this week as I thought about what he had said, I think we know that in theory, to hold on loosely to the things of life is true. We are to hold on loosely to things including things that we love, that we care about, that we are invested in. Even those things we are to hold loosely.


However, that being said, we know it is not easy to hold on loosely. What is easy and more natural to us is to hold on tightly.


However, as we do, as we hold on tightly to whatever it might be, that is how things can go really sideways for us, especially when it comes to the things that we love, care about, and are invested in. Because we are so tempted to clamp down on them in ways that we put so much hope and identity in them that they become idols to us, leading us to get so twisted around in our own hearts, causing us to do more and more sinful things as an attempt to hold onto them.


Which brings us back to our text this morning. This is a text where we continue to see the ongoing saga between King Saul, who has been and continues to be in our study of 1 Samuel, a cautionary tale on the dangers of holding on tightly.


And David, who I think shows us a good model, especially in our text, on what it looks like to hold on loosely in ways that honor the Lord and show great trust in the Lord.


Now, just to set the context before we work through the passage, as mentioned earlier, Saul and David were at odds with each other. More accurately, Saul was at odds with David. The reason for this was that Saul, at odds with David, was because the Lord was taking the kingly crown from Saul and giving it to David. Instead of Saul declaring, “Blessed be the name of the Lord,” he became sinfully obsessed with not letting that happen.


As we have read so many times already in 1 Samuel, Saul loved and cared about his kingly crown way too much to simply let the Lord take it from him. So over the past few chapters in 1 Samuel, time and time again, we have read about Saul doing all that he could to kill David as his attempt to hold on to his crown.


And that’s where we left off last week. Saul was in a round and round pursuit of David on a cliff in the wilderness of Maon.


That is until Saul was called away from this pursuit in order to defend his land, Israel, from an attack by the Philistines, who were their border rivals. As Saul left to engage in battle with the Philistines, David and his men left the wilderness of Maon and relocated to a place called Engedi, which is a beautiful area filled with springs of water and caves, making it an ideal hiding location.


Now, let’s look back at the text starting in verse 1, where we read that after Saul finished dealing with the Philistines, he returned to continue his pursuit of David. He was informed that David was in the wilderness of Engedi.


And this information being communicated to Saul, I am sure indicates to us just how many people Saul had working for him to try to find David. Over and over again in the past few chapters, every time David moved locations, someone would rat him out and pass that information on to Saul.


So, let’s not underestimate the time, energy, effort, and resources Saul was using to keep his crown, his control, with his quest to kill David. In fact, in just a bit, we see David basically call him out for using so many resources to find him, resources that he could and should have used elsewhere.


In verse 2, as this latest intel came back to Saul, we read that he rallied together 3000 of his best chosen men from all over Israel to go with him and seek out David and David’s men in front of the Wildgoats’ Rocks, which is a great name.


And as Saul arrived on the scene, we read that he had to go, meaning Saul had to go and relieve himself.


After all, it was a long trip, one that I am sure he was in a rush to finish. So, as the caravan finally arrived at the intended destination in Engedi, Saul did what we all do – he went to the bathroom.


Which for him was in a cave.


And as Saul sought to relieve himself, to do his business, unbeknownst to Saul, the cave he picked just happened to be the cave that David and his men were hiding in, all the way back in the innermost part of the cave.


Can you imagine this scene being played out for David and his men? No doubt, with a caravan of 3000 of Saul’s men arriving in Engedi, David and his men would have been aware of the situation and the trouble they were in. That’s why they were hiding way back in the innermost part of the cave. I am sure their hearts were racing with fear of being caught.


But now, as they hide, Saul himself walked right into their midst, where he was in the most vulnerable of positions, a vulnerable position that would have made it so easy for David and his men to take his life. They could finally be done with Saul, done being on the run, done with the immense stress they were under, and David could finally take the crown that was rightfully his.


This is basically what we see in verse 4. As Saul was relieving himself, the men whispered to David, “David, here it is. Here is the day that we all have been waiting for, anticipating would come, praying would come. Indeed, the day that the Lord promised would come, when he would deliver your enemy into your hand, so that you shall do to him as you see fit.”


“David, this is unbelievable. This has to be evidence of grace. So, just get up and finish Saul off.”


And for the men, there’s no doubt that they assumed these thoughts that they were thinking were the same things David was thinking.


However, in the text, even though David did rise up and make his way over to Saul, and even though he pulled out some kind of sword or dagger, we read that instead of using the sword to plunge into Saul and take his life, David took the sword and used it to stealthily cut off the corner of Saul’s robe. That’s it, that is all that he did. He didn’t kill Saul; he just cut off a corner of Saul’s kingly robe and made his way back to his men. That’s it.


And in our text, even that action of cutting off the robe was almost too much for David and his conscience, because we read in verse 5 that as David cut off a piece of the robe, his heart was struck with instant remorse. So, we read that he turned to his men, who were no doubt at the very least confused, and my guess is even angry at David for what just took place, especially for what did not take place. They had just witnessed David pass on the opportunity to strike down Saul.


So David turned to his confused and perhaps angry men. He gave them a bit of a sermon in verse 6:


“Men, the Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my lord, meaning Saul, who is the Lord’s anointed. Men, the Lord forbid that I put my hand against him. Do you see that he is the Lord’s anointed? I can’t kill him; that would not be right of me to do. It is not right for me to take away. This is something only the Lord must do.”


Now, a quick thought here:


First, there’s also an example of David that is good for us to see, specifically what it looks like to be a man under authority, which is something God would have us do. Where first and ultimately, we are under God’s authority, but within that authority.


We are under the authority of those He has placed over our lives in positions of authority. This includes even those He has placed over our lives that we do not like.


Now, that being said, we are not to blindly follow authority, and at times it can be a bit more complicated. We certainly are not to follow those in authority over us if they are going against the clear teaching of Scripture and leading us to sin.


But as Christians, we are to live under authority; that is a clear teaching. As mentioned, this here in our text is a great example of David being under authority.


And by the way, if you are looking for other Biblical examples, you can find one in Matthew 8 with the Roman centurion who interacted with our Lord Jesus, and in Acts 23 with the Apostle Paul who stood before the High Priest.


Secondly, tied with this, I think this is also a great model showing reverence or respect for positions of authority, which is something I will come back to at the end of this sermon. But let me mention here that this week, as I worked on this sermon, this is probably where I spent the most time chewing on – how David had reverence and respect towards positions of authority.


And how he did that is by holding on loosely to the position of king that was given to him. We see this both here in our text today as he waited to officially be recognized as king, as well as when his reign was coming to an end. As mentioned, I will be coming back to this at the end. Just mark down in your mind how David held that position loosely. He didn’t feel entitled to it, which was certainly true for Saul.


Keep going, Verse 7. As David shared with his men in the mini sermon, his thoughts and reasons why he did not take Saul’s life.


Clearly, he did so in a convincing way, so he was able to persuade his men with his words. This was able to keep them at bay, as David did not permit them to attack Saul.


Let me hit pause again and mention that here is yet another good model of David in the text. This time, it’s a model for us when we think about our call to make disciples of the Lord.


Which he really was doing in the back of the cave with his men. He was helping them know how to follow God. And he did this in two important ways.


First, David helped his men follow God by his words, which he did through the mini sermon concerning how to treat the Lord’s anointed. Second, David helped his men follow God by his actions. David didn’t do something different from what he told them.


Rather, what he was telling them was to follow his aim and conduct of life. “See how I follow God and do likewise.”


Which is a real part of discipleship. It’s words to hear and actions to model after.


Back to the text, with David and his discipled men agreeing not to kill Saul, we see that Saul finished up his business. He rose and left the cave to head back to his group in the valley down below.


And after Saul got back to his men, in verse 8, David rose up again. He came out of hiding from the innermost part of the cave and seemingly went to the edge of the cave, where he spoke up again, this time to call down to Saul, saying, “My lord the King.”


I am sure it shocked Saul to hear David’s voice coming from where he just was. So, in the text, as David’s voice from above reached the ears of Saul in the valley below, Saul turned around and looked behind him. He could see David, bowed down with his face to the ground, paying homage to him.


By the way, this is also really an incredible thought – that David would do this. Not only did he spare Saul’s life, he was now even attempting to show honor to the King, which further emphasizes David’s appreciation and respect for positions of authority.


As David showed physical honor to Saul by laying prostrate, we see in verse 9 that David had some things he wanted to tell Saul. Namely:


“Saul, why do you listen to the words of men who say, ‘Behold, David seeks your harm?'”


Now, this obviously implies that Saul was not simply acting in isolation as he sought to kill David. It suggests that Saul had others in his ear, feeding him lines that further engaged his obsessions and paranoia. Perhaps these were the people Saul talked to a couple of chapters back, who benefited from Saul in ways that they were gaining their own power.


We don’t know exactly who was further planting seeds of doubt and suspicion in Saul, but based on what David said in our text, it seems obvious that Saul did not have good people around him to help him grow in godliness. Instead, he had proud, arrogant, self-centered, foolish people in his inner circle who were helping lead to Saul’s downfall.


By the way, this is why it’s so important that the people closest to us, who have our ear more than others, are godly and humble people who can build us up. This was true for David and his friendship with Jonathan.


In the text, in verse 10, as David continues, we read him trying to dismantle the things being said about him by Saul’s counsel as being untrue. He did that by reasoning with Saul:


“Saul, if I really wanted to harm you, which your counsel insists is what I am seeking to do, behold, this day you can see with your own eyes that the Lord providentially just put you into my hands in the cave. And while you were in the cave, some told me to kill you, which I easily could have done.”


But unlike you, I didn’t listen to bad counsel. Rather, I spared your life. And not only that, I just discipled my men by telling them:


“I will not put out my hand against my lord, for He is the Lord’s anointed.”


So, Saul, if you think that your counsel is telling the truth – that I am wanting to harm you – be reasonable here and consider I could have just killed you, but I didn’t. And if you don’t believe me that I could have taken your life, take a look at what I am holding in my hand. Does this look familiar to you? It’s a corner of your robe. Saul, that is how close I was to you, and I didn’t kill you.


Saul, what further evidence do you need about my intentions towards you? You should be able to know and see that there is absolutely no wrong or treason in my hands. So, no, Saul, I have not sinned against you. I am not trying to harm you. No, I am not trying to take the throne by force. I am not doing any of these things, even though you have been on this obsessive hunt to take my life. Saul, I am blameless.


Verse 12:

Because of that, Saul, may the Lord judge between us – you and me. May the Lord avenge me against you, meaning I will let Him fight my battles as He sees fit. But, Saul, as for my hand, it shall not be against you. Talk about holding loosely – David wasn’t trying to grab anything by his own hand, his own strength.


Verse 13:

Saul, as the proverbs of the ancients say, “Out of the wicked comes wickedness.” This quote here seems to be one that was well known of this time period. For us, at this point, we don’t know the origin of this ancient saying, but we can clearly understand what it is saying – that wicked acts come from wicked people.


Which here, even though David was living under authority and trusting in the Lord to fight his battles, David still was bold and honest with Saul, and how Saul was acting. David clearly told Saul that he was acting like a wicked person – which, by the way, Saul was. However, even though Saul was being wicked, David reiterates to Saul once again: “But my hand shall not be against you.”


But then after David reaffirmed he was not going to kill Saul, he kind of went after him again for how he was acting. We read:


“After all, Saul, whom has the king of Israel come out after? After whom do you pursue? After a dead dog, after a flea!”


This was David not thinking of himself more highly than he should. Unlike Saul, David was not thinking of himself through the lens of pride and arrogance as he compared himself to a dead dog and a flea.


“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.”


But this was also David further criticizing Saul for spending so much time, energy, and manpower in his pursuit of him. For Saul to try to keep his power, he spent all of his time, energy, and manpower – all that was given to him as the king of Israel – to capture and kill David, when all of those resources should have been put towards other things that would have benefited the people of Israel.


Verse 15:

As David continued to entrust himself and the situation to the Lord, he finished what he had to say to Saul from the edge of the cave by saying further words of trust in God:


“Saul, may the Lord therefore be judge and give sentence between me and you. See to it and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.”


Now, as mentioned, this had to be startling for Saul to hear this coming from the very cave he just left. So, in Verse 16, as Saul heard all of the words that David just yelled down to him, we read his response back:


“Is that you, my son David? I can’t tell, is that your voice?”


To me, this feels like Saul is being a bit coy here, perhaps pretending he didn’t know who was yelling down to him – almost trying to buy himself a bit of time to quickly process what just happened. Or perhaps David was actually far enough away that Saul legitimately could not see who it was up in the cave.


Whatever the reason for this initial response, we see that it didn’t take Saul long to not only recognize that it was David calling down from above, but also to feel some of the weight of what he was doing – knowing it was wrong and that David was right in what he said.


And we see that in the text, which tells us that Saul lifted his voice and began to weep.


Now, let me hit pause real quick and mention here that one of the first lessons I was taught when I began working in church life was a lesson that taught me we can’t let tears fool us into thinking something significant is going on.


Maybe, maybe God is so at work in our life, in the life of others, where He is drawing us to repentance and faith through godly grief, and as He is at work, we are moved to tears. Maybe.


However, sometimes, probably more often than we recognize, tears are just that – tears. Not a work of God, just a work of our own emotions. Where the tears are simply that of worldly sorrow.


Perhaps we recognize we did something wrong, acknowledge our mistake, our sin, and feel some regret, shame, guilt, and conviction for what we did. But not in ways that we are actually wanting to repent and make steps that are in line with repentance – with the hopes of fleeing from sin and not falling into the same sin again.


So, at times, and to say it again, perhaps more often than we recognize, tears are just tears. And that was true of Saul in our text. They were just tears – tears of worldly sorrow. This was not repentance by Saul. And we know that because of what we will see in the chapters to come.


As he just kept doing the same thing he was in tears about in our text, he kept seeking to kill David and trying to hold on tightly to his power and control.


So, don’t be fooled by his tears here. Likewise, don’t be fooled by his words either that came out of his mouth starting in verse 17.


Friends, words are just words if there are no actions tied to them. It’s easy to say the right things, but hard to actually follow through with what’s said. By the way, this is one of the real characteristics of manipulation that Saul was so good at.


Verse 17:

As Saul was weeping down below, he yelled back to David: “David, you are more righteous than I. For you have repaid me good where I have repaid you evil.” This is Saul, in a real sense, admitting his wrong.


Verse 18:

“And you have declared this day how you have dealt well with me, in that you did not kill me when the Lord put me into your hands. For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safe?”


This question has the implied answer of “no.” Who lets their enemy go away safe when they could easily take their enemy’s life? Certainly, Saul would not do that.


But David, that is just what you did to me. You spared my life. You let me go safe. So, David, may the Lord reward you with good for what you have done this day.


Verse 20:

“And behold, more righteous than I, David. Behold, it is clear to me now that you surely will be king, and this kingdom of Israel that I am ruling over will be your kingdom, one that is established in your hand.”


Verse 21:

“Therefore, David, please swear to me before the Lord that you will not cut off my offspring after me, and that you will not destroy my house.”


This here, in some ways at least for a moment, Saul was even kind of accepting what was going on. It kind of feels like he was letting go of his grip on the power and control he was holding onto so tightly.


But to say it again, in the chapters to come, we will see that these words in the text were just words. They carried no real weight because the next time we see Saul in Chapter 26, it’s almost like a replay of this text. He’s trying to once again kill David. So, the slight loosening of his grip on his power and control here is very quickly clamped back down.


No repentance, just remorse.


The start of verse 22:

Where we see David continue to prove that he was more righteous than Saul. Because we read, as he heard this request from Saul, David agreed to the request and he swore to Saul that he would show kindness to his offspring.


Let me give you a few quick thoughts here:

  • 1st. David’s agreement to what Saul just asked was probably more of an agreement to a previous commitment that David had already made to Saul’s son, Jonathan.
  • 2nd. Unlike Saul’s empty words in our text, David was actually a man of his word, and he kept his promise not to harm Saul’s offspring. We see this played out specifically in 2 Samuel 9, as David showed kindness to Mephibosheth, Saul’s grandson and Jonathan’s son. David’s words were not empty; he kept his word.
  • 3rd. The kindness that David showed to Mephiboseth was another indicator of how David was holding on loosely.

Really, culturally speaking, Mephiboseth was a major threat to David. In that, Mephiboseth could have claimed to be the rightful heir to the throne, which, by the way, he did in 2 Samuel 16 as he desired to restore Saul’s kingdom.


So, culturally speaking, to best ensure that David would keep his power and control, he should have killed Mephiboseth. But he didn’t; he showed kindness to him, even after Mephiboseth desired to reestablish Saul’s kingdom.


We will return to this in just a moment, but David truly is a good model for holding on loosely to that which was given to him.


Finally, the text ends with this scene: Saul headed home with his tail between his legs, and David and his men headed up to the stronghold. This indicates that David was no dummy when it came to Saul. He wasn’t fooled by Saul’s tears or his empty words. Instead, he went back into hiding, not trusting that Saul was genuine and filled with godly grief.


Rather, I think this indicates that David rightfully assumed this was just worldly sorrow in Saul that would quickly evaporate.


Now, let’s close this sermon by conducting a quick character comparison between Saul and David. I believe that one of the main takeaways the author of 1 Samuel wants his readers to grasp is the stark contrast between Saul and David, as we observe these two very different examples of men.


As I delve into Saul’s characteristics, I’ll move through this section a bit more swiftly. As I’ve already mentioned throughout the sermon, Saul serves as an illustration of what it looks like to hold on sinfully tight.


So as we bring this sermon to a conclusion, I’d like to provide some traits from Saul’s life that exemplify what that kind of clinging looks like. While I discuss these traits, if you recognize any of them in yourself, I simply ask that you take a moment to repent, with godly grief.


I want to point out that there are many things in life to which you can sinfully cling, not just power and control, which is what Saul tightly held onto. We can also cling sinfully to certain positions in life, particular identities, or dreams and hopes for the future. In fact, it can be anything that starts to become an idol, something we place our trust in.


Now, let me outline a few traits that might indicate you’re holding onto something too tightly. I’ll list these quickly.

  • You become consumed by these things. They occupy your thoughts before bed and upon waking up. Throughout the day, they consume your time and energy.
  • You seek to control everything and everyone in ways that enable you to maintain this hold.
  • You employ manipulation with your words, and perhaps even tears, to acquire or retain this thing.
  • You’re plagued by paranoia at the mere thought of losing it.
  • Your identity becomes intertwined with it.
  • You might surround yourself with counsel that justifies your actions of holding on too tightly.
  • You engage in fights driven by anger when you perceive any threat that could take this away.
  • If confronted for your actions, you exhibit worldly sorrow, yet you don’t genuinely repent or make lasting changes. Instead, you might say the right things and even admit to your behavior, but it’s all superficial. Quickly, you return to the same sinful patterns.
  • You feel that you can’t imagine life without this thing. Consequently, whatever it is has evolved into an idol for you. It’s become the focal point of your hope.

Friends, when we hold on sinfully tight to anything that life brings our way, this is the potential outcome, and it can manifest at various levels.


This is why Saul serves as such a cautionary tale for us.


I want to clarify that I’m not saying we shouldn’t care about things. We absolutely should care, especially about the things and people we love. However, we must avoid caring in ways that lead us to sinfully hold on too tightly. We shouldn’t reach a point where we can’t acknowledge that the Lord gives and takes away, and still be blessed by His name.


So, to reiterate, if you find yourself falling into the same trap as Saul, heed his cautionary tale. If this resonates with you, take this moment to repent and make changes aligned with that repentance. Loosen your grip on whatever idol you’re holding onto tightly.


Now, let’s shift our focus to David and his example. I must mention that David was far from perfect.


In fact, in 2 Samuel, he provides several cautionary tales of his own, where he committed awful and sinful actions.


By the way, this is why David wrote the words in Psalm 110, which the New Testament quotes a few times. “The Lord said to my Lord,” indicating that even David recognized his need for a Lord above him, a Savior. This Savior is found in Jesus Christ, who is also David’s Lord.


It’s important to note that David’s example is far from perfect. However, he does provide us with a great illustration of how to hold onto the things of life while keeping a loose grip on them.


As we explore David’s example, let’s do so under the banner of being set free to trust in the Lord. Holding loosely allows us to trust more fully.


Firstly, when we hold on loosely, we are set free to trust in the Lord’s timing. In the text, David could have killed Saul and attempted to expedite the timing of his own kingship. But he chose not to. He waited on the Lord and His timing, trusting that the Lord would provide in the way and time He deemed appropriate.


Secondly, when we hold on loosely, we are set free to trust in the Lord’s justice. We can trust that God will ultimately make things right. Once again, in the case of David and Saul, David refrained from killing Saul, despite Saul’s wrongdoing. David trusted that the Lord would fight his battles and administer justice.


I understand that this is challenging, especially when we feel wronged. Our instinct is to take matters into our own hands, to regain control of the situation. However, my friends, we cannot do this. Instead, we must humbly place our trust in the Lord.


That is precisely what unfolds when we hold on loosely – we place our trust in Him to do what is right.


Thirdly, embracing the concept of holding on loosely allows us to trust in God’s plan, even when it involves our deepest desires.


As mentioned earlier, this idea has been on my mind significantly this past week, particularly when reflecting on David’s example. I pondered how David placed his trust in the Lord and in His plan for him, believing it was a good plan.


This trust in God’s plan is evident on both ends of David’s kingship. On one side, we currently examine this aspect in 1 Samuel. Despite being anointed as King by Samuel, David patiently awaited the Lord’s plan for him to officially take the throne. He didn’t attempt to seize the crown or feel entitled to it. Instead, he placed his trust in the Lord and His plan as he patiently waited for the crown to be bestowed upon him.


Moving to another phase of his kingship, after David had become well-established as King, he expressed a desire to construct a temple for the Lord. However, the Lord informed him that due to his history as a man of war with much bloodshed, the task of building the temple would be carried out by one of his sons.


In response to this situation, David didn’t sulk, attempt to forcefully insert himself into the temple-building process, or feel entitled to the project. Instead, he willingly stepped back, trusting in the Lord’s plan, even though he had a strong desire to build the temple.


By the way, it’s worth noting that David not only stepped back, but he went a step further by preparing everything for his son to build the temple. This illustrates what it truly means to hold on loosely. There’s no entitlement, no imposing oneself into a situation, and no clinging to something simply because of personal desire. Instead, it’s about trusting in the Lord’s plan. If He places something in your hands, that’s wonderful. But if He takes it away, blessed be His name.


Now, let’s move on to the fourth point, which will be brief. Holding on loosely enables us to be a blessing to others.


In the texts we’ve examined, Saul’s actions mostly revolved around using others to further his own agenda.


In contrast, David’s model in our current text allowed him to be a blessing to others. He helped them realize that it would be wrong for him to kill the Lord’s anointed.


When we hold on loosely to the things of life, it grants us the freedom and opportunity to be a blessing to others by making disciples and showing them what it truly means to follow God.


Moving on to the last point, and perhaps the most crucial one:


5th, holding on loosely allows us to cling to Christ. While David serves as a good example for us, he isn’t perfect. However, Jesus Christ is perfect, which is why we must hold onto and cling to Him alone. We place our trust in Him, knowing that He is the one who, through His incarnation, held on loosely to the things of this life, including the eternal crown promised to Him.


This becomes most evident in two instances. The first is when Jesus was tempted by the Devil in the wilderness. The Devil urged Christ to seize the crown prematurely, which Jesus firmly declined to do.


The second was when our Lord stood on trial, where he could have called a host of angels down to rescue him from the hands of evil men. But our Lord remained silent, as he trusted his heavenly Father and the plan that was set in motion before time began. As Jesus went to the cross to die in our place, to take on the punishment for our sin.


So that the veil that separated us from God, that was pictured in the temple, could be torn in two from the top down. So that through the death of Jesus, and his glorious resurrection from the dead on the third day, all who by faith turn from sin, with godly grief, and cling to Jesus, would be forgiven and be brought into his eternal joy.


So that through all eternity, through Jesus, we could sing blessed be the name of the Lord, who took our sin away, to give us eternal life, where he promises to hold tightly to his people of faith, in ways that they will never be taken from his hands.


So yes, church, my friends’ words are sound. In this life, we must hold loosely, and we must do so in ways that we are clinging to Christ, who ultimately is holding on to us.