“Thou art more righteous than I: for that thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.” 1 Samuel 24:17 KJV

“You are more righteous than I; for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you.” 1Samuel 24:17 NASB

The events of 1Samuel 24 reveal something of the magnanimous character of David. Saul is literally within reach and unaware of David’s presence in the cave. On discovering the reality that his life could easily have been snuffed out by David, Saul raises his lamentable cry and confession. In it, there is some vindication for David, even though his flight and danger are not totally at an end. Saul must publicly own that David has been righteous and he has not been.

Vindication for those falsely accused, imprisoned, or persecuted awakens within us a deep appreciation for the triumph of righteousness. In the vindication of David there is a reminder of the vindication of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was condemned on false charges; He was crucified unjustly; He died with a cloud of supposed guilt over His head. In the eyes of the Roman government, He was listed as a criminal. But God has and will vindicate His Son.

There was Immediate Personal Vindication

While on the cross, a thief confessed, “this man hath done nothing amiss.” And the same Gospel writer, Luke, tells us of the confession of the centurion. In Luke’s account, the centurion does not own that this is the Son of God; his confession is, “Certainly this was a righteous man” (Luke23:47).

It is as if God could not wait any longer for someone to own the righteousness of the Man the world had judged worthy of death.

There was Subsequent Private Vindication

The world’s verdict was passed, and the Lord Jesus was crucified. But the resurrection is God’s verdict. He was raised by the glory of the Father (Rom 6:4). Every attribute of God demanded His resurrection. God vindicated Him further by His appearances to His disciples. They were able to testify to the many “infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3) during that 40-day period.

Ultimate Public Vindication

But God is not done vindicating His Son. A day is marked on God’s calendar of events when He will bring forth His Son to the gaze of a wondering universe. Satan will struggle to prevent that day. His dupes will be gathered together and turn all their armaments on the returning Son of Man, but He will return. Paul wrote that He will come “to be admired in all them that believe” (2 Thess 1:10). But to us, He has already been vindicated. His full and final vindication will come when the entire world will bow the knee before the One Who gave His back to the smiters.

Consider:

  • In what sense does every conversion of a sinner “vindicate” Christ?
  • We normally think of what the Lord Jesus was able to do for the thief on the cross; but think of what his confession would have meant to the Lord Jesus while suffering on the cross. Why did God design this event with its confession?