5 Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. 6 He said to his men, "The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD." 7 With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way. 1 Samuel 24:5-7
Here's what struck me the first off; David feared the Lord more than anyone or anything else.
David feared the Lord more than his own life.
David feared the Lord more than Saul.
David feared the Lord more than saving his men.
David feared the Lord more than getting revenge.
Then I realized the turmoil that was going on in David. Now, he spared Saul's life, but what he did wasn't trivial. The robe was a sign of the king and David "vandalized" it. It would be kind of like us going into the Oval Office and spray painting the Presidential Seal; it was an act of defiance.
In essence it was act of defiance against God. He raised his hand against God, because God was the one who made Saul king and it was God who would remove him.
That's why David was conscience-stricken I believe, his act was against God, and now he's realizes that.
Isn't that the way Satan works, he gets us to do the "little things" that seem like they are no big deal or even morally right at the time. David had the right to take out Saul, to save the lives of 600 men and he chose only to cut off a corner of the robe, hooray for David, he's so godly!
Wrong! David now realizes this. I think he gets angry with himself, here's why I think this, look at his reaction to his men. He rebukes his men; the literal translation would be he "tore them apart". He knows what He did was against God, even if it was a small thing and he lashes out of them, he knew better.
Are we conscience-stricken over the "little things" we do that go against God's will?
Or do we tend to think it's no big deal, or maybe worse we don't even think about it at all.
David didn't and I think that is when David feared the Lord the most in this passage.