Evening Bible Study
anointed to be the first king, but through Saul’s continued disobedience to
God’s commands, God has told Saul that he will no longer king.
anointed the next king, a young man named David.
As God used
David to bring victory over the Philistines, Saul began to grow insanely
jealous, to the point of trying to have David killed.
David is now a man on the run. He’s
been hiding out in the deserts of Judah, moving from place to place as Saul
continues to try and find and kill David.
We’ve seen David have opportunity to kill Saul in a cave at En Gedi.
Yet David refused to take things into his own hands and he has shown
respect and kindness towards Saul.
Play En Gedi Maon map clip.
The last time David and Saul had been together was at the oasis of En Gedi where David had spared Saul’s life.
After that incident, David went to Masada, Saul went home to Gibeah.
Now David had last been hanging out at Maon,
where he had the strange episode with the fool Nabal
spares Saul again
:1 Now the Ziphites came to Saul at Gibeah,
saying, “Is David not hiding in the hill of Hachilah,
:2 Then Saul arose and went down to the Wilderness of Ziph,
having three thousand chosen men of Israel with him, to seek David in the
Wilderness of Ziph.
:3 And Saul encamped in the hill of Hachilah,
which is opposite Jeshimon, by the road. But
David stayed in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the
:4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul had indeed
:4 Ziph – “smelters”
It sounds as if this town was dedicated to forging metal. Perhaps that means that these people were dwarves and lived
inside caves (Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, Gimli,
The Ziphites were loyal to Saul. They had already been keeping Saul informed
about David whenever they heard that David was in the area.
Back in chapter 23, they were the ones that brought Saul out to capture
:4 Hachilah – “dark”. We’ve been here before…
:4 Jeshimon – waste, wilderness, desert
Play Ziph map clip.
The Ziphites are calling Saul south from
Gibeah. David is out in the wilderness
Saul camps out in Hachilah, looking over the
:4 sent out spies
David has a plan. First he wants to
find where Saul is camping.
:5 So David arose
and came to the place where Saul had encamped. And David saw the place where
Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner,
the commander of his army. Now Saul lay within the camp, with the people
encamped all around him.
Abner is Saul’s top general, the head of the
Saul is surrounded by three thousand warriors. He is in the center so they
can protect him.
:6 Then David answered, and said to Ahimelech the Hittite and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah,
brother of Joab, saying, “Who will go down with me to
Saul in the camp?” And Abishai said, “I will go down
This is one of David’s
was David’s older sister.
Joab is the one we will hear most about. He will eventually be David’s commander over
the armies of Israel.
Apparently David had a love/hate relationship with his nephews.
They were among his most loyal men, but they also caused him a lot of
trouble and grief. (2Sam. 16:10;
:7 So David and
Abishai came to the people by night; and there Saul
lay sleeping within the camp, with his spear stuck in the ground by his head.
And Abner and the people lay all around him.
:7 his spear stuck
in the ground
This is Saul’s famous spear that he is unable to hit people with (like
David and Jonathan)!
:8 Then Abishai said to David, “God has delivered your enemy
into your hand this day. Now therefore, please, let me strike him at once with
the spear, right to the earth; and I will not have to strike him a
This is just like what David’s friends had told him back in the cave at En Gedi (1Sam.
But instead of encouraging David to kill Saul, Abishai
offers to do the deed.
Abishai promises it’ll only take him one quick
thrust of his spear and Saul will be dead.
:9 But David said to Abishai, “Do not destroy
him; for who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed, and be guiltless?”
Saul is the “anointed” one. He’s had
oil poured on his head. He’s the king.
:10 David said furthermore, “As the Lord lives, the Lord
shall strike him, or his day shall come to die, or he shall go out to battle
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 The Lord forbid that I
should stretch out my hand against the Lord’s
anointed. But please, take now the spear and the jug of water that are
by his head, and let us go.”
:11 take now the
I don’t think David intended to kill Saul.
I think he was intending to do this very thing, to get close to Saul and
take some of his stuff to show Saul that he has no intention of killing Saul.
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.
(Ro 12:21 NKJV) Do not be overcome by evil, but
overcome evil with good.
I think David is growing.
(2 Pe 3:18 NKJV) but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen.
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 So David took
the spear and the jug of water by Saul’s head, and they got away; and no
man saw or knew it or awoke. For they were all asleep, because a
deep sleep from the Lord had
fallen on 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.
:13 Now David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of a hill
afar off, a great distance being between them.
:14 And David called out to the people and to Abner
the son of Ner, saying, “Do you not answer, Abner?” Then Abner answered and
said, “Who are you, calling out to the king?”
Notice that David is bringing other people into the confrontation than just
:15 So David said to Abner, “Are you not a
man? And who is like you in Israel? Why then have you not guarded your
lord the king? For one of the people came in to destroy your lord the king.
:16 This thing that you have done is not good. As the Lord lives, you deserve to die, because
you have not guarded your master, the Lord’s
anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the jug of water
that was by his head.”
It’s too bad we can’t hear the tone of voice that David is using. It almost
seems to me that David is teasing Abner.
:17 Then Saul knew David’s voice, and said, “Is that your voice, my
son David?” David said, “It is my voice, my lord, O king.”
:18 And he said, “Why does my lord thus pursue his servant? For what have I
done, or what evil is in my hand?
:19 Now therefore, please, let my lord the king hear the words of his
servant: If the Lord has stirred
you up against me, let Him accept an offering. But if it is the children
of men, may they be cursed before the Lord, for they have driven me out this day from sharing in
the inheritance of the Lord,
saying, ‘Go, serve other gods.’
:19 from sharing in
the inheritance of the Lord
The inheritance of the LORD
for Israel involved the land.
David is being driven from the land of Israel.
It’s as if people are telling him to stop serving the LORD and to serve
:20 So now, do
not let my blood fall to the earth before the face of the Lord. For the king of Israel has come
out to seek a flea, as when one hunts a partridge in the mountains.”
:20 hunts 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.
In modern days,
you send your dog into the field, and shoot the birds as they fly up.
Shooting skeet is what prepares you for hunting partridges. But Saul has
been going a bit overboard. Some people
go overboard with their skeet shooting …
Play “Skeet” video.
:21 Then Saul said,
“I have sinned. Return, my son David. For I will harm you no more, because my
life was precious in your eyes this day. Indeed I have played the fool and
Saul was the one who had wanted to be honored in front of the people (1Sam. 15:30), and now in front
of the people Saul admits that he’s been the “fool”. That’s progress.
:22 And David answered and said, “Here is the king’s spear. Let one of the
young men come over and get it.
:23 May the Lord repay every
man for his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the Lord delivered you into my hand
today, but I would not stretch out my hand against the Lord’s anointed.
:24 And indeed, as your life was valued much this day in my eyes, so let my
life be valued much in the eyes of the Lord,
and let Him deliver me out of all tribulation.”
:25 Then Saul said to David, “May you be blessed, my son
David! You shall both do great things and also still prevail.” So David went on
his way, and Saul returned to his place.
:21 I have sinned
The last time that David confronted Saul while in the cave, I’m not sure
that too many of Saul’s people knew what had happened.
The last time, Saul never actually promised to not pursue David any
longer. He only asked David to promise
not to kill Saul’s descendants after David became king:
24:21 NKJV) Therefore swear now to me by the Lord
that you will not cut off my descendants after me, and that you will not
destroy my name from my father’s house.”
David can tell
that Saul wasn’t really repentant about trying to kill him.
I think that David’s new plan is to once again show a sort of kindness to
Saul (it did have an effect the last time), but this time in front of Saul’s
army and in front of Saul’s commander.
Maybe if these
other witnesses hear David and Saul talk, they will realize that David is not a
bad guy, and help keep Saul from pursuing David.
Jesus said laid out the same pattern for us when confronting people over
18:15–17 NKJV) —15
“Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his
fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.
16 But if he
will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or
three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he
refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear
the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
The loving thing is to confront someone quietly, just you
and them. That’s the ideal way to face a
Some people need a little extra push, maybe having a few
others in on the conversation, but that ideally ought to come after you’ve
tried it the quiet way first.
One of the
things I have to continually examine myself over is: Am
I teachable? How will I
respond to criticism?
were three sisters—ages 92, 94, and 96—who lived together. One night, the
96-year-old drew a bath. She put one foot in, then paused. "Was I getting
in the tub or out?" she yelled.
The 94-year-old hollered back, "I don't know, I'll come
and see." She started up the stairs, but stopped on the first one. She
shouted, "Was I going up or coming down?"
The 92-year-old was sitting at the kitchen having tea,
listening to her sisters with a smirk on her face. She shook her head and said, "I sure hope I
never get that forgetful," and knocked on wood for good measure. Then she
yelled, "I'll come up and help both of you as soon as I see who's at the
Sometimes we laugh or complain about other people and their problems, but
the big issue is, how about us? Am I open to learning about my
I want to be that person who responds with the first
confrontation and not need a bigger one.
27:1-12 David the Philistine
:1 And David said in his heart, “Now I shall perish someday by the hand of
Saul. There is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape
to the land of the Philistines; and Saul will despair of me, to seek me anymore
in any part of Israel. So I
shall escape out of his hand.”
:2 Then David arose and went over with the six hundred men who were
with him to Achish the son of Maoch,
king of Gath.
:1 I should
Some folks criticize David for fleeing to the land of the Philistines. They see it as a lack of faith. I see it as wisdom.
Even though it would appear that David has had a successful confrontation
with Saul, even getting Saul to admit that he was wrong in front of his men,
David isn’t ready to trust Saul yet.
became jealous of David after David’s victory over Goliath.
(1 Sa 18:11 NKJV) And Saul cast the spear,
for he said, “I will pin David to the wall!” But David escaped his presence
People might have initially blamed it on Saul’s personal
“demon”, where he needed David to play music to calm him down.
David to be his son-in-law, with a dowry of 100 Philistine foreskins.
That’s more than a little suspicious.
Saul expected the Philistines to kill David.
Then Saul put a
contract out on David, ordering his servants to kill David. (1Sam. 19:1)
Jonathan talked his father into changing his mind, and Saul even swore an
oath to not kill David.
(1 Sa 19:6 NKJV) So Saul heeded the voice of Jonathan, and Saul swore, “As
the Lord lives, he shall not be
After the next
Philistine war and David’s success, Saul again tried to kill David with a
spear. (1Sam. 19:10)
Saul even sent
assassins to David’s house to kill him while he slept. (1Sam. 19:11)
While David hid
with Samuel in Ramah, Saul sent more assassins to have David killed, but they
all got touched by the Holy Spirit. (1Sam. 19:20)
The next time
Jonathan confronted Saul about David, Jonathan himself had to duck from his
father’s spear. (1Sam. 20:31)
For as long as the son
of Jesse lives on the earth, you shall not be established, nor your kingdom.
Now therefore, send and bring him to me, for he shall surely die.”
When Saul found
out that David had received help from the priests at Nob, Saul had all the
priests killed. (1Sam. 22:19)
rescued the city of Keilah from the Philistines, Saul
came out to kill David (1Sam.
When David was
in the wilderness of Ziph, Saul hunted him down until
he got called away to handle a Philistine attack. (1Sam. 23:28)
When David hid
at En Gedi, Saul showed up and David spared his life
while they were in the cave (1Sam.
And now Saul
has come out to the wilderness once again to kill David before this
If you were David, would you believe Saul when he says …
26:21) …“I have sinned. Return, my son David. For I will harm you no more …”
Would you trust Saul???
Why would we criticize David for not trusting him?
Here’s where it
gets confusing as Christians:
We want to be careful to forgive people.
(Mt 6:14–15 NKJV) —14
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will
also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your
Father forgive your trespasses.
We need to be quick to forgive.
Jesus also said …
(Lk 17:3–4 NKJV) —3 Take heed
to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents,
forgive him. 4
And if he sins against you seven times in
a day, and seven times in a day returns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you shall
Over my life,
I’ve come to realize that there is a difference between me “forgiving” a
person, and letting them camp out in my living room.
I “forgive” a person, I am letting go of the debt. I am choosing not to retaliate.
might not mean that I completely trust them.
If someone is treating you like Saul treated David, there
is a time to realize that you need to slow down before trusting them.
This is one of the traps that a Christian faces when they
are continually abused by their spouse.
We feel obligated to “forgive” them, but aren’t sure what
Sometimes you have to step away to see if they are really
We want to learn to recognize a little better what true repentance looks
like. Does anyone remember the verse
that describes true repentance?
(2 Co 7:11 NKJV) —11
For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner:
What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what
fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication!
In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter.
(2 Co 7:11 The Message) —11
And now, isn’t it wonderful all the ways in which this distress has
goaded you closer to God? You’re more alive, more concerned, more sensitive, more
reverent, more human, more passionate, more responsible. Looked at from any
angle, you’ve come out of this with purity of heart.
David had tried to hide out in Gath before, but at that time it wasn’t too
well known that Saul was trying to kill David.
At that time the Philistines just knew David to be the great warrior of
what a mistake it was to hide with the Philistines at that time and got out of
his predicament by pretending to be insane.
Now it’s apparently common knowledge that David is being hunted by Saul.
Achish will welcome an enemy of his enemy.
This is the Philistine
city on the border with Israel.
This was the home
Today, the city of Gath
is in a national park in Israel called “Tel Zafit”. Excavations of Gath have only been taking
place since 1996.
They have found that the site had been inhabited long before the
Philistines arrived around 1200 B.C.
has been unearthed shows the connection between the Philistines and Greek
Their diet leaned heavily on grass pea lentils.
uncovered showed that they also ate pigs and dogs, both considered unclean to
Archaeologists have found the traces of the city’s destruction, recorded in
the Bible as having come at the hand of the Aramean
King Hazael in 830 B.C.
There are several groups of people that connect David to Gath in later
The Cherithites and Pelethites
were two groups of people from which David would choose for his personal
It is thought that these two groups came from the Island of Crete (like the
Philistines), and may have been Philistines themselves.
Why would David have Philistines as bodyguards?
Perhaps he got to know them from this period of time.
In his latter years, David had a friend who
stayed loyal to him even when his son Absalom rebelled against David.
Ittai was known as the “Gittite”.
That means he was from Gath.
:3 So David dwelt
with Achish at Gath, he and his men, each man with
his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam
the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess,
:4 And it was told Saul that David had fled to Gath; so he sought him no
:4 he sought him no
Note that it’s not Saul’s “I
have sinned” that stops him from seeking David, but the fact that David is living with the
Living with the Philistines was a good idea for David.
:5 Then David
said to Achish, “If I have now found favor in your
eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell
there. For why should your servant dwell in the royal city with you?”
I get the idea that David doesn’t want to be too close to Achish.
:6 So Achish gave him Ziklag
that day. Therefore Ziklag has belonged to the kings
of Judah to this day.
This town was
originally supposed to belong to the tribe of Simeon, but here has become a
possession of the Philistines. Now it
will belong to Judah.
Play Ziklag map clip.
Apparently we’re not too sure on the exact location of Ziklag
as of yet, but most books I checked put it at a place known as Tel esh-Sharia.
David has gone from confronting Saul at Hachilah,
to the Philistine city of Gath, and now he settles for a while in the south at Ziklag.
:7 Now the time
that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was one full year and four
:8 And David and his men went up and raided the Geshurites,
the Girzites, and the Amalekites.
For those nations were the inhabitants of the land from of old, as you go to Shur, even as far as the land of Egypt.
:8 Geshurites – “proud beholder”
There were apparently two places known as “Geshur”
One place was a
city-state located on the northeast coast of the Sea of Galilee. This was where David would one day marry the
daughter of the king of Geshur (named Talmai), and the son of that marriage would be Absalom.
Geshur in Jesus’ day was known as the city of
Bethsaida, where Peter was from.
The other place
is the one we’re looking at, located in the south and connected to the
These are the
people who had attacked Israel as they came out of Egypt.
We often see
them as a good illustration of our own “flesh” or sin nature – attacking us
when we are weak.
These are the
people that God had commanded Saul to wipe out (1Sam. 15).
These are the people that Saul claimed to have wiped out.
15:13 NKJV) …I have performed the commandment of the Lord.”
But they’re still around. And they
will continue to cause trouble.
David attacked the land, he left neither man nor woman alive, but took away the
sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camels, and the apparel, and returned and
came to Achish.
:10 Then Achish would say, “Where have you made a
raid today?” And David would say, “Against the southern area of Judah,
or against the southern area of the Jerahmeelites, or against the
southern area of the Kenites.”
:10 David would say
Even though David is actually continuing to fight the battles of the Lord,
he is telling Achish that he is fighting against the
:11 David would save neither man nor woman alive, to bring news to
Gath, saying, “Lest they should inform on us, saying, ‘Thus David did.’ ” And
thus was his behavior all the time he dwelt in the country of the
:12 So Achish believed David, saying, “He has
made his people Israel utterly abhor him; therefore he will be my servant
Achish figures that David is now becoming known
as a traitor to Israel and it would be useful to have him around for awhile.