From Handbook to God’s Promises
REWARDS FOR FAITHFULNESS
Rewarder of Righteousness
(1 Samuel 26:23–24)
Through the pages of Scripture, we are granted more exposure to the details of David’s life than to that of any other biblical figure except Moses. Our heart aches for him, thousands of years after the fact, when we read of the remorse he felt and the price he had to pay for his moral failure with Bathsheba. An earlier glimpse into David’s life, long before his encounter with Bathsheba, makes that latter incident all the more puzzling. David had already proved that he knew better.
Saul was the first king anointed to serve over Israel. God chose him and Samuel anointed him, but Saul failed to remain obedient to the Lord. As a result, Samuel anointed David, Jesse’s youngest son, to be Saul’s successor. After David’s anointing but before his accession to the throne, he served in Saul’s court. During this time, David’s skills and exploits made Saul intensely jealous—so much so that David had to flee for his life.
Saul pursued David into the desert, where, on one occasion, David and his men observed Saul and his soldiers sleeping in their camp. David crept into Saul’s camp and took Saul’s spear and water jug to prove that he had been there but had spared the life of God’s anointed. In this encounter, David displayed a profound understanding of God’s role as rewarder and punisher.
David had earlier refused to allow his men to kill Saul, explaining that God would visit a similar fate on the murderer (1 Sam. 26:9–10). David also knew that if he acted righteously by not harming Saul, God would reward him “for his righteousness and faithfulness” (v. 23). In other words, David illustrated the principle that Paul, centuries later, declared to the Christians in Galatia: “Whatever a man sows, this he will reap” (Gal. 6:7).
David suffered greatly through the death of his son for his actions with Bathsheba, actions that he knew God would repay. But God also rewarded David’s righteousness and faithfulness with the life of a greater “Son,” Jesus Christ (Matt. 1:1). God provides rewards in time and eternity for those who are faithful to God.
He is the observer and the rewarder of your faithfulness and righteousness.