David and Saul
Once allies, David and Saul had become foes. Fearing Saul's wrath, David had gone into exile, hiding with his family and a small band of men. So close and keen was Saul's pursuit of David that at one time when David and his men were in the wilderness of Engedi, by the Dead Sea, the king entered the very cave where the outlaws crouched in hiding. The dim place seemed empty, and Saul, being weary, left his troops outside, set a guard at the entrance, and laid himself to sleep within the cave, feeling secure.
Such astonishing good fortune seemed a miracle to the men who had cowered there in the gloom expecting every moment to be discovered. Their thought was that David would slay Saul, but David would not, believing that he would ascend the throne when God was ready, and not by such bloody means. Instead, David cut off a piece of Saul's robe as he slept.
Eventually, Saul rose up and left the cave unaware of the drama around him. David followed and called after him. When the king turned at David's call, David told how he had spared the king, holding up the piece of the robe as proof. As David called for Saul's mercy, Saul's better nature returned to him for a moment. He wept and called David son, as David called him father. Saul drew off his army and returned to Jerusalem, but David did not go with him. David had learned from sad experience how suddenly the king's shattered mind might change.
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