He said to David, "You are more righteous than I, for you have repaid me good, whereas I have repaid you evil." In the world, we often see obsessions as evidence of sickness. The classic example of Ahab and Moby Dick has reached so far into our lexicon that many use the expression "white whale" without knowing the whole story. Saul was obsessed with killing David, though David had done nothing but good to him. There was the prophecy that Saul's line would not keep the kingdom, and only Saul seemed unable to accept this truth. Even Saul's heirs knew that David was God's choice. Saul's whole focus was not even the kingdom he had been anointed and charged to protect and serve, but the title itself.
Saul's vision away from God was not turned when David entered his life. No, he lost the kingdom when he disobeyed God by making the sacrifice without Samuel (1 Samuel 13). And why did he do that? Because he was afraid the people would run away from him before he could get them battle. That seems like a reasonable fear, but he was expected to trust God first, not the fears of those who followed him. His impulsiveness cost him the kingdom, and though he knew it was lost to him, he continued to act as if it was his to lose, not God's to give.
David, though anointed, did not pursue the worldly gain of being king, but only the heart of God. He had reason to fear and perhaps some might say that he had reason to doubt the Lord because he was hounded by a man who was, for all intents and purposes, crazy. But he continued to trust in God, and even when he had the opportunity to kill Saul, he didn't.
David could have seized power as the world does, by killing the leader and taking over. But he chose obedience instead, refusing to strike "the Lord's anointed." He would not lead God's people the world's way. He would wait on the Lord, and when God put him on the throne, he would keep in promises, even to wicked, crazy Saul.
Lord of all power, God of strength in our weakness, grant us hearts that pursue you before everything. Kindle in us the fire of your love and presence, that our only obsession is You. Amen.