He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’ ” Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lay my hand on him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” 1 Samuel 24:3-6
King Saul was closing in on David when he was called away to turn back raiding Philistines. After returning, Saul and his men are searching for David when Saul needs to relieve himself. David could have killed Saul there in the cave, but David refuses to lay a hand on Saul, who is still king, thus the Lord’s anointed. David trusts that in the Lord’s time he will be lifted up to the kingship, but now is not the time. Instead David cuts the corner off Saul’s robe, and later he felt guilty for doing that. Why did cutting the corner off Saul’s robe make David feel that way? In the hem of their robes is embroidered each man’s genealogy, his family badge, his authority (reference stories of other robes with Jesus and the woman with the issue of blood who touches his garment, and Boaz putting the corner of his garment over Ruth). David’s action of cutting off the corner of Saul’s robe was basically declaring that he is tearing away Saul’s kinship from him without physically killing Saul. This is similar to Jesus equating being angry with someone as murdering (in your heart). David would not entertain the thought of killing Saul, but in the moment his actions are the equivalent of tearing down Saul, the Lord’s anointed. David is a mighty warrior, but he has a heart worthy to be called one after God’s own heart. May your heart be soft and moldable as David’s.