In a Cave with a King: A Message for Kids about Respect

All right, this post is for your kids.  This is devotion number 12 from “My Brother’s Feet Smell as Bad as Noah’s Ark (and 30 other devotions that stink!).

DISCLAIMER: This is not meant to make a political statement – I wrote this two years ago during a totally different administration – it is simply meant to challenge us to think about our leaders in a Biblical way.  Our kids are witnessing so much . . . for lack of a better term . . . garbage . . . right now.  We need to be sure as Christian parents that we are teaching them what the Bible says about how we are to treat our leaders.  Let this devotional be a starting point for that much needed conversation.

Come to think of it, maybe this is a conversation we adults need to have, too.

Either way, here’s the devotional.  Enjoy!


 There is No Doorknob in a Cave

Everybody does it.

You might say you never do, but we both know you’d be lying. Maybe you try really hard not to, maybe you want to be polite so you try to hold it in, but, eventually, there is going to come a point when you can hold it in no longer. You will be sitting in a room full of people when the discomfort becomes too much and you have to let it out.

You know what I’m talking about.

You pass gas.

In my house, the instant you let one rip you’d better yell out “safety” or you will be in trouble. If you don’t yell out “safety”, and someone else catches wind of your . . . wind . . . that person can yell “doorknob” which gives every other person permission to beat the tar out of you until you physically touch a doorknob.

It is a game we call, appropriately, doorknob.

What can I say, we’re a family full of boys.

Imagine if some of our favorite Bible characters played doorknob. I wonder what that would look like.

It might seem a bit strange to think about, but let’s consider a perfect pairing for this game – Saul and David. Yes, I am talking about King Saul, the first king of Israel, and his replacement, King David, the most famous king of Israel.

You might think I’m crazy to consider the two of them participating in a friendly game of doorknob, but they would have had an awesome opportunity to do so.

Let me explain.

If you remember, God rejected Saul as king and chose David to be the king instead. Saul was insanely jealous of David, and ended up spending a great deal of time and energy chasing after David in order to kill him. The whole thing is rather amusing, as David never intended to overthrow Saul and David remained incredibly loyal to Saul’s kingdom and family throughout the entire ordeal.

One day David and his men discovered Saul alone. Why was he alone? Because he had gone inside a cave to “relieve himself”. You know what that means, right?

He had to go to the bathroom . . . and he wanted to go in private.

This had to be a rather lengthy bathroom visit, as it lasted long enough for David’s men to encourage David to go in there and take him captive or kill him. All David did, however, was cut off a piece of Saul’s robe and then leave. Saul never even knew he was there!

What if, when David found Saul “relieving himself” in the cave, instead of cutting off a piece of Saul’s robe and then leaving, he would have simply yelled out “doorknob!”?

There is no doorknob in a cave . . . David would have won and the struggle for the kingdom would have been over.

One of my littlest brother’s first words was “safety”. It’s a good thing, too, because, I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but little kids pass gas all the time, anywhere they are, without caring at all about the results. My brothers and I were so proud the first time we heard a “pffffttt” followed by a “safety” from our little brother.

My mom, however, was not impressed. In fact, she isn’t too happy that I’m including this story in this book. For some reason, she doesn’t think it’s appropriate for a devotional. The only way I was able to leave this in was because I told her I’d make an incredible spiritual application.

So here goes.

The fact is, David didn’t yell out “doorknob”. In fact, he didn’t yell out anything at all. He simply cut off the piece of the robe and left.

And then he felt bad about it! He felt bad that he would dare do anything against the Lord’s anointed. God had appointed Saul as king, and David felt that he had no right doing anything disrespectful against the leader of his nation.

This respect for leaders is not just in the Old Testament. The New Testament also tells us we are to respect our leaders – even bad ones! We don’t have to always agree with them, but we do have to treat them and their office with respect.

I guess that means I shouldn’t yell out “doorknob” the next time I run into the President in a cave.

Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:13-17, NASB)


1. What does David’s treatment of King Saul tell you about David?

2. Do you think it was hard for David to respect King Saul? Why or why not?

3. Is it hard for you to respect your leaders? Why or why not?

4. What are some ways that you can show respect to your leaders?


1. Spend time today praying for the leaders of your country. Pray for them to have wisdom as they lead and to make decisions based on what God would want.

2. Pray for the future leaders of your country. Pray that God will raise up Christian men and women to serve Him in politics.


1. Draw a picture of David and Saul in the cave.

2. Draw a picture of ways you can show respect to your leaders.

3. Write an encouraging letter to one of the leaders of your country.

For more on this story, see 1 Samuel 24.


This devotional was taken from “My Brother’s Feet Smell as Bad as Noah’s Ark (and 30 other devotions that stink!). If you enjoyed this, you might want to check out the whole book! You can find out more about it here.


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