1Samuel 25-27

Sunday Evening Bible Study

February 24, 2002

Introduction

We ended last week with David having an opportunity to kill Saul, but David’s conscience wouldn’t let him.  He realized that he needed to leave the situation with Saul in God’s hand.  Though it may seem like Saul has changed and won’t be bothering David anymore, we’ll see Saul causing trouble once again.

1Samuel 25

:1 And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and went down to the wilderness of Paran.

buried him in his house – some have suggested that this means that Samuel was buried in a tomb at Ramah, not in his house.

Ramah – Samuel’s hometown.  see map

ParanPa’ran – “place of caverns”; the general area to the south of Israel, the area of the Sinai where much of the Exodus from Egypt took place; perhaps up to 200 miles south of where David had been in En Gedi.

:2 And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.

MaonMa‘own – “habitation” see map

CarmelKarmel – “garden-land; a mountain on the Mediterranean coast of northern Israel, just below Haifa; a town in the mountains on the west side of the Dead Sea and south of Hebron. see map

greatgadowl – great; in importance; great, distinguished (of men). Probably the idea is that the man was wealthy.

shearinggazaz – to shear, mow.

:3 Now the name of the man was Nabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.

NabalNabal (naw-bawl) – “fool”

Abigail‘Abiygayil – “my father is joy” or “the joy of her father”.

goodtowb – good, pleasant, agreeable

understandingsekel – prudence, insight, understanding

Abigail was a pretty smart cookie.

beautifulyapheh – fair, beautiful, handsome

countenanceto’ar – shape, form, outline, figure, appearance

Not only was Abigail sharp, but she was good looking too.

churlishqasheh – hard, cruel, severe, obstinate

evilra‘– bad, evil

Caleb – this man was a descendant of the great hero, Caleb, of the tribe of Judah. The name “Caleb” means “dog”, and so the Septuagint uses the Greek word kunikov (dog), from which we get our word “cynic”.

Being a descendant from Caleb might have given him a sense of privilege, but I’m sure Caleb wouldn’t have been proud to have this man as a descendant of his.

Lesson

Don’t be a Fool

The book of Proverbs has a lot to say about “fools”, the English word is found 78 times!
There are several words for “fool” in the Hebrew. The type of “fool” that Nabal is NOT is “stupid”, the guy with a lot of air between the ears. He probably was not blonde.

foolish[email protected] – simplicity, naivete; it comes from pathah, meaning “to be spacious”, probably as in lots of air in the head and no brains. It is often translated “simple” or “naïve”.

fool‘eviyl (from a word meaning “to be perverse”) – be foolish, foolish; of one who despises wisdom; of one who mocks when guilty; of one who is quarrelsome; of one who is licentious

fool[email protected] – fool, stupid fellow, dullard, simpleton, arrogant one. Strong’s says, fat, stupid or silly.

Illustration
The Blonde and the Lawyer
A blonde and a lawyer are seated next to each other on a flight from LA to NY. The lawyer asks if she would like to play a fun game? The blonde, tired, just wants to take a nap, politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks. The lawyer persists and explains that the game is easy and a lot of fun. He explains, “I ask you a question, and if you don’t know the answer, you pay me $5.00, and vise versa. Again, she declines and tries to get some sleep. The lawyer, now agitated, says, “Okay, if you don’t know the answer you pay me $5.00, and if I don’t know the answer, I will pay you $500.00.” This catches the blonde’s attention and, figuring there will be no end to this torment unless she plays, agrees to the game. The lawyer asks the first question. “What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?” The blonde doesn’t say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a $5.00 bill and hands it to the lawyer. Okay says the lawyer, your turn. She asks the lawyer, “What goes up a hill with three legs and comes down with four legs?” The lawyer, puzzled, takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references, no answer. He taps into the air phone with his modem and searches the net and the library of congress, no answer. Frustrated, he sends e-mails to all his friends and coworkers, to no avail. After an hour, he wakes the blonde, and hands her $500.00. The blonde says, “Thank you,” and turns back to get some more sleep. The lawyer, who is more than a little miffed, wakes the blonde and asks, “Well, what’s the answer? “Without a word, the blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5.00, and goes back to sleep. And you thought all blondes were dumb.
fool nabal – foolish; senseless.  There are several ideas behind this word.
1.  Insensitive – this is a person who doesn’t care about other people.

Peter told men how they are to treat their wives:

(1 Pet 3:7 KJV)  Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

Men are to study their wives.  Get to know everything about them.  Treat them as fragile, expensive, fine china.

2.  Unreasonable – a person you can’t talk to without being insulted or offended.

A “fool” has harsh, lying words.  Solomon wrote,

(Prov 17:7 KJV) Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.

Could someone talk to you in a way that will make you change your mind about something?  Do you ever seriously consider the ideas and opinions of others?

3.  Ungodly

David writes about the “fool”,

(Psa 14:1 KJV)  To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool (nabal) hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

There is nothing so insensitive or foolish as the person who refuses to acknowledge God.

Personally, as science continues to advance, I find it amazing that there are still people who would refuse to acknowledge the existence of our Creator God.  The huge Human Genome project has worked for years to decipher our genetic DNA coding, all to show how incredibly complex the human being is.  The complexity itself speaks of a designer.

Illustration

Many years ago Sir Isaac Newton had an exact replica of our solar system made in miniature.  At its center was a large golden ball representing the sun, and revolving around it were small spheres attached at the ends of rods of varying lengths.  They represented Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, and the other planets.  These were all geared together by cogs and belts to make them move around the “sun” in perfect harmony.

One day as Newton was studying the model, a friend who did not believe in the biblical account of creation stopped by for a visit. Marveling at the device and watching as the scientist made the heavenly bodies move on their orbits, the man exclaimed, “My, Newton, what an exquisite thing!  Who made it for you?”  Without looking up, Sir Isaac replied, “Nobody.”  “Nobody?” his friend asked.  “That’s right!  I said nobody!  All of these balls and cogs and belts and gears just happened to come together, and wonder of wonders, by chance they began revolving in their set orbits and with perfect timing.”

If it could be so obvious with something like a simple mechanical device, how about the complexity of the human eye, the human ear, or the functioning of the various human internal organs?

:4 And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.

shearing his sheep – the ancient Romans used to just pluck the wool off the sheep. Here, the wool was cut off of the sheep, and done sometime around June or July. A feast usually was held at that time, a time of celebration (Gen. 38:12).

:7 neither was there ought missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.

While David had been in the area, he had acted to protect Nabal’s shepherds while they were in the fields. David had been in the Maon area earlier (1Sam. 23:24-25).

:9 give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.

This is not an unreasonable thing for David to request in that he had been a help to Nabal. David doesn’t ask for anything specific, just whatever Nabal would care to give. David asks with humility and respect, calling himself “thy son”.

:9 they spake to Nabal according to all those words in the name of David, and ceased.

David’s servants don’t add anything or elaborate on what David has asked them to say.

:10 there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master.

Nabal answers with disrespect. He accuses David of being a rebellious servant, having rebelled against Saul.

:11  give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?

Nabal seems to be insinuating that David’s men were “bastards”, that no one knew who their father was.

Nabal doesn’t seem to have minded that David’s men had protected his shepherds and flocks, but he doesn’t want to lift a finger to help David in return.

Nabal is one of these guys who are so hard to get along with that you just can’t talk with him without him offending you.

:13 And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword.

It seems to me that David has simply hit his limit. He’s been abused and accused. And he’s not going to take it anymore, least of all from this “fool”.

David splits up his men. Four hundred will go with him to confront Nabal, two hundred stay back at camp.

When Saul first began to reign over Israel, there were only two swords among all the Israelites: Saul’s and Jonathan’s. Now with David’s band of men, every man has a sword.

:14 one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife … he railed on them.

railed‘iyt – to scream, shriek; to dart greedily, swoop upon, rush upon

It seems to me that some of Nabal’s servants realize what a fool he is, and that Abigail was the one with the wisdom in the family.

:15 neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them

were conversanthalak – to go, walk, come. (NLT) Nothing was stolen from us the whole time they were with us.

:16 They were a wall unto us both by night and day

There could have been attacks from the Philistines, who had just plundered the city of Keilah. There could also have been attacks from Ishmaelites who lived out in the wilderness, or from wild animals.

:17  evil is determined against our master…he is such a son of Belial

evil is determined – David isn’t going to stand for being insulted like this.

Belial[email protected]‘al – worthlessness; worthless, good for nothing, unprofitable, base fellow; wicked; ruin, destruction (construct)

“He’s such a worthless man”, or “He’s such a son of Satan”.

I find it interesting that Abigail doesn’t seem to be offended at this young man calling her husband a “son of Belial”.

:18 took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs

two hundred loaves – flat cakes like pita bread.

two bottles of wine

Adam Clarke: “That is, two goat-skins full. The hide is pulled off the animal without ripping up; the places where the legs, etc., were are sewed up, and then the skin appears one large bag. This is properly the Scripture and Eastern bottle.”

five sheep read dressed – five sheep that had already been slaughtered and ready to cook.

five measures of parched corn – or, five “seahs” of roasted grain.

A “seah” was about 1/3 of an ephah.

An ephah is estimated to be somewhere between 3/8 and 2/3 of a bushel.
A bushel is equivalent to 2,100 cubic inches, a little larger than the size of the average office trashcan.

Hence, five “seahs” is a little less than one bushel (5/6 of a bushel), a little less than the size of the average office trashcan.

an hundred clusters of raisins – raisins. nice.

two hundred cakes of figs – figs were dried and pressed into lumps. She takes two hundred of these.

This is a nice gift to bring, but certainly not huge or anything that Nabal couldn’t afford. The guy had 3,000 sheep. Certainly he could afford to give David and his men five sheep.

:19 Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.

Abigail sends the servants ahead of her with the gift for David.

This is similar to what Jacob did when he met his brother Esau. He sent a gift ahead of him so that when he met Esau, Esau would be in a good mood and not kill him.

She wants David to be in a good mood before she meets him and tries to apologize for her husband.

Lesson

Teaching your husband a lesson

The Bible does give women instruction on how to teach their husbands a lesson.
(1 Pet 3:1-6 NASB) In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, {2} as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. {3} And let not your adornment be merely external-- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; {4} but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God. {5} For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands. {6} Thus Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear.
Gals, the preferable way to teach your husband is through your submission.  It’s not by insulting him or taking control of the household.  This doesn’t mean that you don’t share your ideas or opinions.  Sarah is held up as an example, and she told Abraham what to do all the time.  But at some point you need to let your husband learn to make good decisions, and that means letting him fail every once in a while.  If you never let him make any decisions, how’s he ever going to grow to be the man God wants him to be?

Lesson

There can be a time to intervene

Even though the “norm” is for a wife to submit, there will be times like with Abigail and Nabal, where a wife is doing the right thing by stepping up and protecting the family.
But it’s the exception, not the standard.  If a gal is always “stepping in” to take over, the man will never learn.
John Gill writes, “no doubt she was directed by the Spirit of God to do what she did; and this being an extraordinary case, is not to be drawn into an example.”
Caution: Be careful about doing things behind another person’s back, especially your spouse.
Usually, if you are doing things behind their back, you’re the one in trouble.

:20 she came down by the covert on the hill

(NLT) As she was riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, she saw David and his men coming toward her.

:21 Now David had said, Surely in vain …

Before David meets Abigail, he has made these statements to his men.

David has done good to Nabal, and Nabal has returned the favor with insulting David.

:22 if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

any that pisseth against the wall – could be one of several ideas:

It could refer to “males”, that David will destroy all the men before morning.

It could refer to “dogs”, that David wouldn’t leave as much as even a dog alive.

Lesson

David is out of control

Don’t try and justify David’s anger.
He’s gone too far with his anger.
Paul writes,
(Eph 4:26-27 KJV) Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: {27} Neither give place to the devil.
David has a right to be angry, after all he has been insulted. But wiping out every living thing is hardly the appropriate response.

:24  Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be

Lesson

Bearing the sin of others.

Abigail wants to pay for the sin of Nabal.  She wants David to consider her to be the sinner and let her pay for the crime.
Paul did this with a runaway slave named Onesimus.  He wrote to Onesimus’ master, Philemon and said,
(Phile 1:18 KJV) If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;
Ultimately, this is what Jesus did for us.  Just as Abigail is going to make peace with David by paying for Nabal’s sins, Jesus made peace with God for us by paying for our sins.  This is why He died on the cross.  We can come to have a relationship with God not by our own efforts, but when we come to trust in what Jesus did for us on the cross.
(Rom 5:10 KJV)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

:25 for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him

folly[email protected] (just like his name, “Nabal”) – senselessness, folly; disgraceful folly; of immorality, profane actions

Lesson

Protect the family not the fool

It doesn’t sound as if Abigail thinks too highly of her husband.
But keep in mind, she is saving his life. If she didn’t love Nabal, why would she be trying to save him?

:27 let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.

The “blessing” is the food she has brought.

She is saying that the gift probably isn’t good enough for David, but perhaps it might at least be something for David’s servants.

:28 the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD

sure‘aman – (Niphal) to be established, be faithful, be carried, make firm; to be carried by a nurse; made firm, sure, lasting; confirmed, established, sure

She doesn’t see David as a disobedient servant of Saul, but someone who fights the God’s battles.

:29 the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God

She seems to be prophesying here.

bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God – The Jews have taken this phrase to be referring to eternal life. The Jewish paraphrase, the Targum, translates this as, “the soul of my lord shall be treasured up in the treasury of eternal life, before the Lord thy God

Ryrie: The figure is taken from the custom of binding valuables in a bundle to protect them from injury. God cares for His own as a man does his treasure.

:30 shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;

She knows that David will one day become king.

:31 that thou hast shed blood causeless

She is trying to keep David from ruining his reputation. If David wipes out Nabal, he will gain the same type of reputation that Saul has, someone who is quick to anger.

:33 And blessed be thy advice

(1 Sam 25:33 NASB)  and blessed be your discernment, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodshed, and from avenging myself by my own hand.

Abigail had been used by God to keep David from making a huge mistake.

:34 except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me

David knows that if Abigail hadn’t shown up, he would have done something foolish himself.

Lesson

Don’t wait too long

David was just minutes or hours away from doing a stupid thing.
If Abigail hadn’t acted as quick as she had, it would have been too late.

:36 he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king

This is the feast that accompanies the sheep shearing. He knows how to party.

:36 Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken:

Lesson

The fool is drunk

It’s not surprising that Nabal is drunk.
Being drunk is a cheap, destructive substitute for what God wants to do in your life.
People drink for all kinds of reasons. Sometimes it’s to try and make the pain go away. Sometimes it’s just to try and find happiness.
Being drunk can temporarily help us forget our problems, but in the morning, they all come back.
God has the answer.
(Eph 5:18 KJV) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

The emptiness, the powerlessness, the hurt, the sorrow can all be resolved through the Holy Spirit. He gives you strength and help to either change the problems or endure them.

And you don’t feel lousy in the morning.

Don’t settle for Satan’s cheap substitute.

:36 wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.

She knows that nothing serious can happen until Nabal is sober.

:37 his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.

It sounds like he either had a heart attack or a stroke.

Some have suggested that when he finds out how much Abigail gave to David, that this caused the reaction. I think that perhaps the realization that David almost wiped him out caused the shock.

:39 the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head

Lesson

Let God take care of it

David has already learned to let God handle revenge.
He has learned this while Saul has been trying to have David killed. David had a chance to kill Saul, but he found that he couldn’t do it, and he said,

(1 Sam 24:12 KJV) The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.

Paul wrote,

(Rom 12:17-21 NLT) Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable. {18} Do your part to live in peace with everyone, as much as possible. {19} Dear friends, never avenge yourselves. Leave that to God. For it is written, "I will take vengeance; I will repay those who deserve it," says the Lord. {20} Instead, do what the Scriptures say: "If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink, and they will be ashamed of what they have done to you." {21} Don't let evil get the best of you, but conquer evil by doing good.

David has known this principle. He’s obeyed this principle with Saul.

But he needs to learn the lesson again. This time with the “fool”.

:39 David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.

communeddabar – (Piel); to speak; to promise. David proposes to Abigail.

Here’s another warning from the story of Abigail.

Lesson

Don’t be dreaming of David

You might feel as if you’re married to “Nabal”, a “fool”, an insensitive person.
And then a “David” comes along, a nice, caring, loving person. And you start thinking of how Abigail ended up with David.
Don’t go there.
Abigail doesn’t do the things she does hoping that Nabal will keel over and she’ll end up with David. Her actions are done to save her family.
Don’t give up on your home. Don’t give up on your marriage.

:41 bowed herself on her face to the earth

Abigail responds with humility. She feels she could only be a servant of David.

:42 And Abigail hasted, and arose

hastedmahar – (Piel) to hasten, make haste; prepare quickly, do quickly, bring quickly

This is the fourth time this word “haste” is used in connection with Abigail.

1Sa 25:18 Then Abigail made haste <04116>, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
1Sa 25:23 And when Abigail saw David, she hasted <04116>, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground,
1Sa 25:34 For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted <04116> and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
1Sa 25:42 And Abigail hasted <04116>, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.

:43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.

Ahinoam‘Achiyno‘am – “my brother is delight”

Ahinoam seems to have been married to David before Abigail. She would be the wife that would give birth to David’s first son, Amnon.

Jezreel – an area in northern Israel.

David is practicing polygamy.

Polygamy is against God’s original design for marriage, which involved one man and one woman (Gen. 2:24). Though God seems to tolerate the people in the Old Testament practicing polygamy, it seems to have always caused nothing but trouble (1Sam. 1:6-7).

It could be that David is following the example of the King before him, Saul. Saul had more than one wife. Yet this wasn’t God’s originally design for kings either:

(Deu 17:17 KJV) Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart turn not away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.
David’s son, Solomon, would also have more than one wife. He’d break the world record. And his many wives did turn his heart away from God.

:44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.

Michal – This was David’s first wife, the daughter of Saul. She was the one who rescued him by having him escape out of the window while she made excuses to her father’s messengers (1Sam. 19). Now we see that Saul has given her to another man.

Perhaps Saul is trying to change people from thinking that David is his “son-in-law”.

1Samuel 26

:1 And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying ..

If this sounds familiar, it is. This is the second time the Ziphites have sent messengers to Saul, telling him where David is. see map

(1 Sam 23:19 KJV) Then came up the Ziphites to Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself with us in strong holds in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon?

:2 to seek David in the wilderness of Ziph.

The Judean hill country east of Jerusalem. The deep wadis (seasonal streams) between the hills make travel difficult.

:3  he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.

Remember what Saul had promised the last time that David was in Ziph?

Actually, Saul hadn’t promised anything. It was David who promised not to kill any of Saul’s descendants when he became king. (1Sam. 24:16-22)

:4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed.

Perhaps David had begun to think that Saul wasn’t going to try and kill him anymore. The spies find out that Saul has indeed come to kill David.

:5  and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host

Abner is Saul’s top general, the head of the army.

:5 Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him.

the trenchma‘gal – entrenchment, track. (NAS) the circle of the camp

The picture is that Saul is surrounded by three thousand warriors. He is in the center so they can protect him.

:6  Abishai said, I will go down with thee.

Abishai‘Abiyshay – “my father is Jesse” or “my father is a gift”. This is one of David’s nephews, a son of David’s sister Zeruiah. He agrees to go with David into Saul’s camp in the middle of the night.

:7 his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster

bolster[email protected]’ashah – place at the head, dominion, head place

:8 I will not smite him the second time.

Abishai promises it’ll only take him one quick thrust of his spear and Saul will be dead.

:9 against the LORD'S anointed

Again, the same as last week (1Sam. 24:10), David considers Saul still to be God’s “anointed”. This is interesting considering the fact the God has anointed David as well.

There are people who will hide behind this verse (and the one in 1Sam. 24) to say that you shouldn’t dare challenge those who are in leadership in the church.

But keep in mind, in both instances, David will challenge Saul with a convincing argument. But what David won’t do is kill Saul.

:10  As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish.

David is confident that God will take care of Saul. He does not believe that he needs to be the one to do it.

:11 take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go.

crusetsappachath – jar, jug (for liquids)

David has had a plan all along. He is planning on showing kindness one more time to Saul.

Lesson

Growing in kindness

The first time David had a chance to kill Saul, he cut off the corner of Saul’s robe before his conscience began to bother him and he stopped. He realized that he was not supposed to hurt Saul. He needed to be kind.
When David was offended by Nabal, his immediate response was to wipe the man out. But as he was stopped by Abigail, he realized that he needed to again show kindness.
This time, David doesn’t even seem tempted to harm Saul. He knows right off the bat that he needs to be kind to Saul.
I think David is growing.
I wonder what Peter means when he says,
(2 Pet 3:18 KJV)  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

I think that at times we can reach these “plateaus” where we think we really can’t grow any further from where we are.  And then God takes us around a corner in our lives and we see before us a huge mountain that is still to be climbed.

We have much farther to go.  Don’t think we’ve arrived.

:12 a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.

God was helping David with his plan to show kindness.

I think the writer records it this way because David recognized that God was involved even in the little details like having everyone sleep so well.

:15 And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel?

David begins with a compliment towards Abner. He considers Abner a good man.

:16 ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD'S anointed

I wish we could hear the tone of voice that David is using. It almost seems to me that David is teasing Abner.

:17 And Saul knew David's voice, and said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And David said, It is my voice, my lord, O king.

Note how Saul still calls David “my son”. Note that David still speaks with respect, “my lord”.

:19 If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering

If God is somehow behind Saul’s pursuit of David, then may God accept an offering from David.

It sounds as if David is actually open to the idea that God might be behind Saul’s pursuing him.

:19 if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD

If people are the ones stirring up Saul to pursue David, then David prays they would be cursed.

David doesn’t even seem to entertain the thought that Saul himself might be behind the pursuit, though he is.

:19 they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.

It seems that it is very important to David to be in the place of God’s people.

He has been driven away.

:20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD:

(NLT) Must I die on foreign soil, far from the presence of the LORD?

:20 for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.

David repeats something similar to what he said before. Saul is wasting his time chasing David.

hunt a partridge – in the east, the partridge was hunted by chasing it until it got exhausted. Then the bird was bludgeoned with a club. Sounds like what is happening to David.

:21  I will no more do thee harm

Saul now promises to no longer try and harm David.

:21  I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

foolcakal – to be foolish, be a fool; be stupid

It seems to me that even Saul is growing a bit.  Saul was the one who had wanted to be honored in front of the people, and now in front of the people Saul admits that he’s been the “fool”.

:22  Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.

David doesn’t even want to keep Saul’s spear as a souvenir. He knows it belongs to Saul. He has made his point.

:25  Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail.

Lesson

Be patient and do it right.

Was it worth it to David to not kill Saul? Was it worthwhile to just show kindness?
The first time Saul let David go. Now, the second time, David is again allowed to go.
Saul will eventually be killed by the Philistines, and David will become king.
It would take a little longer, but eventually David would become king, and he would not be responsible for Saul’s death.
Sometimes we are faced with a “quick fix” that will solve the problem. But it’s also a bad thing to do. Wait and do it right.

1Samuel 27

:1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines

speedily escapemalat – to slip away, escape, deliver, save, be delivered

David is tired of Saul turning around and trying to kill him.

Something seems wrong here.  I understand what David is saying.  I understand how Saul’s constant threat has worn him down.

Look what kind of things David used to say:

(1 Sam 17:45-47 KJV)  Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. {46} This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. {47} And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.

It doesn’t seem as if David is doing the right thing.
I just got finished saying that David has given us an example of being patient and doing it right.  Now he turns around the next day and blows it.
David is human.

:2  unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath.

It has been suggested that this might be a different “Achish” than the one that David had gone to before (1Sam. 21:10-15), since this man is described differently as the “son of Maoch”.

Some have also suggested that this Achish may have invited David to join him, since the feud with Saul was becoming public knowledge.

:3  every man with his household, even David with his two wives

David’s men all have brought their families with them.

:4 And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.

Apparently David’s idea of hiding among the Philistines has worked. Saul stops chasing him.

:5  why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee?

I get the idea that David doesn’t want to be too much under the thumb of Achish.

:6 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day

ZiklagTsiqlag – “winding”. This town was originally supposed to belong to the tribe of Simeon, but here has been a possession of the Philistines.

:6  Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.

Ziklag is passed down as a possession by David to his descendants, the kings of Judah.

:8 And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites

David attacks people to the south of Israel.

Geshurites – inhabitants of Geshur.  see map

Gezrites – an unknown people to the south of Israel.

the Amalekites – those old enemies of Israel, the people that Saul was supposed to have wiped out.  see map

:10 And Achish said, Whither have ye made a road to day? And David said, Against the south of Judah, and against the south of the Jerahmeelites, and against the south of the Kenites.

the Jerahmeelitesthe descendants of Jerahmeel, the great grandson of Judah

Kenitesthe descendants of Moses’ father-in-law Jethro, who occupied the south of Judah

Whenever David would return from a raid, he would claim to have made an attack against Israel, and make Achish think that he was becoming more and more hated by Israel.

:11 And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.

Because David didn’t leave anyone alive, nobody could report to Achish of what David had really done.

David is still fighting with the enemies of Israel, yet he’s pretending to be a friend of the Philistines.

:12 And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.

Achish is convinced that everyone in Israel will hate David and he will serve Achish forever.

Is David doing a good thing, hiding in Philistia? I can see two different answers:

1.     Yes – Saul isn’t going to kill him now, David won’t have to kill Saul. David will get a break from running from Saul.

2.     No – he is acting out of fear and has adopted a life of lying. Though David used to ask God for advice on just about everything, it doesn’t seem like David has asked God about this. In fact, this is one of the usual elements of David’s life that seems conspicuously absent right now.  What does God say about all this?  God hasn’t been asked.

Look at the what David had written the last time he was in Gath:

(Psa 56 KJV)  To the chief Musician upon Jonathelemrechokim, Michtam of David, when the Philistines took him in Gath. Be merciful unto me, O God: for man would swallow me up; he fighting daily oppresseth me. {2} Mine enemies would daily swallow me up: for they be many that fight against me, O thou most High. {3} What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. {4} In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. {5} Every day they wrest my words: all their thoughts are against me for evil. {6} They gather themselves together, they hide themselves, they mark my steps, when they wait for my soul. {7} Shall they escape by iniquity? in thine anger cast down the people, O God. {8} Thou tellest my wanderings: put thou my tears into thy bottle: are they not in thy book? {9} When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know; for God is for me. {10} In God will I praise his word: in the LORD will I praise his word. {11} In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me. {12} Thy vows are upon me, O God: I will render praises unto thee. {13} For thou hast delivered my soul from death: wilt not thou deliver my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of the living?

I wonder if perhaps having six hundred fighting men around him has caused David to think a little less in trusting the Lord.  Sometimes when we are the weakest, we will trust God the most, because we know we have to.

In reality, we need to trust Him all the time.

David will eventually even try to be included in the army that will march against Saul – David will be fighting against his own people – until God steps in and keeps David from the battle.

I think David has made a mistake.

It seems that even our favorite heroes are human. Men will disappoint you. Jesus never will.

Map