The African Bishop, Desmond Tutu, was once asked why he became an Anglican rather than joining
some other denomination. He replied that in the days of apartheid, when a black person and a
white person met while walking on a footpath, the black person was expected to step into the … More
The Ziphites had betrayed David before with serious consequences and now they do it again by telling Saul where David is hiding (v.2). Saul takes 3,000 troops and goes to find David. Within a day’s march, or two at the most, Saul and his men reached the area where David was camped. They were very tired, so they bedded down for the night with the full intentions of launching a surprise attack on David and his people the next morning.
In God’s sovereign plan, David finds out about Saul’s location and he and Abishai sneak into Saul’s camp that night. The two men tiptoe around the sleeping bodies till they find Saul sound asleep. Saul was nearly seventy years old and no doubt the long hard march had exhausted him. However, the fact that they were able to go to Saul without waking anyone can be attributed to God’s supernatural help (v.12).
Abishai wanted to kill Saul, but David stopped him because of his respect for Saul’s authority and position as God’s anointed king. Instead he took Saul’s spear and cruise of water to make obvious the fact that he intended no harm to Saul.
David leaves the camp and calls back to Saul and reminds him once again that he could have killed him. In broken sentences, Saul expresses remorse for his conduct and in good faith David returns to Saul his spear and skin of water. Then the two men part, never again to meet in this life.
Who would I have been like in a situation like this - David or Abishai? To be like David and follow God, I must realize that I can’t do wrong in order to execute justice.
Then the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah, saying, "Is not David hiding himself on the hill of Hachilah, which is on the east of Jeshimon?" So Saul arose and went down to the wilderness of Ziph with three thousand chosen men of Israel to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul encamped on the hill of Hachilah, which is beside the road on the east of Jeshimon. But David remained in the wilderness. When he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness, David sent out spies and learned that Saul had come. Then David rose and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where Saul lay, with Abner the son of Ner, the commander of his army. Saul was lying within the encampment, while the army was encamped around him. Then David said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Joab's brother Abishai the son of Zeruiah, "Who will go down with me into the camp to Saul?" And Abishai said, "I will go down with you." So David and Abishai went to the army by night. And there lay Saul sleeping within the encampment, with his spear stuck in the ground at his head, and Abner and the army lay around him. Then said Abishai to David, "God has given your enemy into your hand this day. Now please let me pin him to the earth with one stroke of the spear, and I will not strike him twice." But David said to Abishai, "Do not destroy him, for who can put out his hand against the LORD's anointed and be guiltless?" And David said, "As the LORD lives, the LORD will strike him, or his day will come to die, or he will go down into battle and perish. The LORD forbid that I should put out my hand against the LORD's anointed. But take now the spear that is at his head and the jar of water, and let us go." So David took the spear and the jar of water from Saul's head, and they went away. No man saw it or knew it, nor did any awake, for they were all asleep, because a deep sleep from the LORD had fallen upon them. Then David went over to the other side and stood far off on the top of the hill, with a great space between them. And David called to the army, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, "Will you not answer, Abner?" Then Abner answered, "Who are you who calls to the king?" And David said to Abner, "Are you not a man? Who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not kept watch over your lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy the king your lord. This thing that you have done is not good. As the LORD lives, you deserve to die, because you have not kept watch over your lord, the LORD's anointed. And now see where the king's spear is and the jar of water that was at his head." Saul recognized David's voice and said, "Is this your voice, my son David?" And David said, "It is my voice, my lord, O king." And he said, "Why does my lord pursue after his servant? For what have I done? What evil is on my hands? Now therefore let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If it is the LORD who has stirred you up against me, may he accept an offering, but if it is men, may they be cursed before the LORD, for they have driven me out this day that I should have no share in the heritage of the LORD, saying, 'Go, serve other gods.' Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth away from the presence of the LORD, for the king of Israel has come out to seek a single flea like one who hunts a partridge in the mountains." Then Saul said, "I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will no more do you harm, because my life was precious in your eyes this day. Behold, I have acted foolishly, and have made a great mistake." And David answered and said, "Here is the spear, O king! Let one of the young men come over and take it. The LORD rewards every man for his righteousness and his faithfulness, for the LORD gave you into my hand today, and I would not put out my hand against the LORD's anointed. Behold, as your life was precious this day in my sight, so may my life be precious in the sight of the LORD, and may he deliver me out of all tribulation." Then Saul said to David, "Blessed be you, my son David! You will do many things and will succeed in them." So David went his way, and Saul returned to his place.
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I Samuel 23:1-14David Delivers Keilah From The Philistines
I Samuel 23:15-29David Escapes From Saul
I Samuel 24:1-22David Spares Saul’s Life
I Samuel 25:1-17Nabel Rejects David’s Message of Protection
I Samuel 25:18-44Abigal Keeps David From Killing Innocent People
I Samuel 26:1-25David Again Let’s Saul Live
I Samuel 27:1-12David Seeks Refuge From Saul in Phillistia
I Samuel 28:1-25Saul Seeks Help With The Witch of Endor
I Samuel 29:1-11The Philistines go Back to Ziklag