1 Samuel 23
David continues to fulfill the duty of his calling and anointing to God and his people, and thereby continues to rise in the respect of the people.
Each of us was anointed to become a king and priest of the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ forever (Rev 1:6, 5:10). If we betray our anointing to exalt and obey apostate leaders above the Word of God, by obeying any man contrary to the Word of God we are making such men our idols; and we disqualify ourselves from our calling.
We are to remain faithful to the anointing of our calling and we are not to exalt the words of any man or organization above the Word of God; not even if he is a king, physical high priest, or leader in the Ekklesia.
Let us make our calling sure through living by every Word of God; and NOT obeying any man contrary to the Word of God, no not even if he has the power of physical life and death.
1 Samuel 23:1 Then they told David, saying, Behold, the Philistines fight against Keilah, and they rob the threshingfloors. 23:2 Therefore David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go and smite these Philistines? And the LORD said unto David, Go, and smite the Philistines, and save Keilah.
David seeks out the Word of God before taking action!
We should also seek out the Word of God to study it and to pray and seek out God’s will, always.
23:3 And David’s men said unto him, Behold, we be afraid here in Judah: how much more then if we come to Keilah against the armies of the Philistines? 23:4 Then David enquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said, Arise, go down to Keilah; for I will deliver the Philistines into thine hand. 23:5 So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.
The ephod being part of the costume of a priest
23:6 And it came to pass, when Abiathar the son of Ahimelech fled to David to Keilah, that he came down with an ephod in his hand.
Saul now thinks that he has David trapped and Saul’s madness causes him to loose all dignity and pursue a civil war. Only David’s restraint keeps a bloody civil war from Israel.
23:7 And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars. 23:8 And Saul called all the people together to war, to go down to Keilah, to besiege David and his men.
David inquires of God by the new high priest, who wears the ephod of his office. The day will come when the chosen will also wear the white linen of the eternal priesthood of their calling.
The white linen of the priesthood is symbolic of purity and perfection; being free from any spot, blemish or wrinkle of sin.
Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. 19:8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.
1 Samuel 23:9 And David knew that Saul secretly practised mischief against him; and he said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod. 23:10 Then said David, O LORD God of Israel, thy servant hath certainly heard that Saul seeketh to come to Keilah, to destroy the city for my sake. 23:11 Will the men of Keilah deliver me up into his hand? will Saul come down, as thy servant hath heard? O LORD God of Israel, I beseech thee, tell thy servant. And the LORD said, He will come down.
23:12 Then said David, Will the men of Keilah deliver me and my men into the hand of Saul? And the LORD said, They will deliver thee up.
At the Word of God, David departed Keilah and was saved yet again by obeying and following the Word of God. During this time David was being tested and trained up by God to become a truly godly king.
In the same manner we are called out of this society to be tested, trained and molded into what God wants us to be, in order to prepare us to be rulers and priests of the High Priesthood of Jesus Christ for all eternity.
Some of today’s called out, like David, will pass the test of total loyalty to God; and others like Doeg will fail that test and instead exalt and obey men above the Word of God, only to be rejected by Jesus Christ from having any part in his faithful collective bride!
23:13 Then David and his men, which were about six hundred, arose and departed out of Keilah, and went whithersoever they could go. And it was told Saul that David was escaped from Keilah; and he forbare to go forth. 23:14 And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand. 23:15 And David saw that Saul was come out to seek his life: and David was in the wilderness of Ziph in a wood.
Jonathan reminds David that he will be king and encourages David in the promises of God.
Let us all be filled with a Jonathan like love of God’s Word and decisions even if it appears to be to our personal disadvantage, and let us be full of love for other like-minded faithful!
23:16 And Jonathan Saul’s son arose, and went to David into the wood, and strengthened his hand in God. 23:17 And he said unto him, Fear not: for the hand of Saul my father shall not find thee; and thou shalt be king over Israel, and I shall be next unto thee; and that also Saul my father knoweth.
These two men renewed their covenant before God to the effect that David would be king and Jonathan would stand at his side.
23:18 And they two made a covenant before the LORD: and David abode in the wood, and Jonathan went to his house.
Then certain men betrayed David for a reward from Saul; trusting in that rebel against God; rather than trusting in the Word of God.
Again the story is continually about Davidic loving faithfulness to God; or an idolatrous faithfulness to the words of men above the Word of God.
Saul and Jonathan and all the people KNEW that David had been anointed and ordained as Saul’s successor, yet some were willing to conspire against the Lord’s anointed David in order to obey men instead of obeying God.
23:19 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? 23:20 Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.
Saul gives the betrayers his instruction to spy out all the places of David.
23:21 And Saul said, Blessed be ye of the LORD; for ye have compassion on me. 23:22 Go, I pray you, prepare yet, and know and see his place where his haunt is, and who hath seen him there: for it is told me that he dealeth very subtilly. 23:23 See therefore, and take knowledge of all the lurking places where he hideth himself, and come ye again to me with the certainty, and I will go with you: and it shall come to pass, if he be in the land, that I will search him out throughout all the thousands of Judah.
David hears that Saul was coming against him and he left his abode to go and remain at Maon.
23:24 And they arose, and went to Ziph before Saul: but David and his men were in the wilderness of Maon, in the plain on the south of Jeshimon. 23:25 Saul also and his men went to seek him. And [some then warned David] they told David; wherefore he came down into a rock, and abode in the wilderness of Maon. And when Saul heard that, he pursued after David in the wilderness of Maon.
David then escaped to avoid battle with Saul.
23:26 And Saul went on this side of the mountain, and David and his men on that side of the mountain: and David made haste to get away for fear of Saul; for Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.
Saul was distracted by a Philistine incursion and had to turn aside from pursuing David. Did God send these Philistines to divert Saul? God can use the unconverted to perform his will.
23:27 But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land. 23:28 Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Selahammahlekoth.
The diversion of Saul allowed David to flee to an oasis by the Dead Sea.
23:29 And David went up from thence, and dwelt in strong holds at Engedi.
1 Samuel 24
Saul is told that David is in Engedi and goes there to kill him.
1 Samuel 24:1 And it came to pass, when Saul was returned from following the Philistines, that it was told him, saying, Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi. 24:2 Then Saul took three thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and went to seek David and his men upon the rocks of the wild goats.
When one squats down the skirt covers the feet, hence the expression
24:3 And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.
David’s men advise him to kill Saul while he is there, but David sneaks up and cuts off a corner of Saul’s skirt as it lies on the ground.
24:4 And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily.
David then repented of his disrespectful action against the king.
24:5 And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.
24:6 And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD. 24:7 So David stayed his servants with these words, and suffered them not to rise against Saul. But Saul rose up out of the cave, and went on his way.
Here we see the kind of act of submissive respect that is meant by the word worship in Hebrew.
24:8 David also arose afterward, and went out of the cave, and cried after Saul, saying, My lord the king. And when Saul looked behind him, David stooped with his face to the earth, and bowed himself.
David then presents his defense against the rumors of his seeking to kill Saul.
24:9 And David said to Saul, Wherefore hearest thou men’s words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? 24:10 Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD’s anointed.
David goes so far as to call Saul his father, before the armies [Saul was David’s father in law and the head of the nation] gathered there.
24:11 Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe, and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. 24:12 The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
Wickedness proceeds from evil thoughts; evil thoughts are what Paul calls evil concupiscence. We are not to dwell on evil thoughts and plans, but on the goodness of the whole Word of God.
24:13 As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee.
David humbles himself before Saul, saying that he [David] is nothing.
24:14 After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea. 24:15 The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.
Out of shame Saul then repented of his desire to kill David
24:16 And it came to pass, when David had made an end of speaking these words unto Saul, that Saul said, Is this thy voice, my son David? And Saul lifted up his voice, and wept. 24:17 And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil. 24:18 And thou hast shewed this day how that thou hast dealt well with me: forasmuch as when the LORD had delivered me into thine hand, thou killedst me not. 24:19 For if a man find his enemy, will he let him go well away? wherefore the LORD reward thee good for that thou hast done unto me this day.
Saul acknowledges before the two armies that he knows that David will be king and asks for peace between their houses.
24:20 And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand. 24:21 Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father’s house.
David swore to Saul, but remained distrustful of Saul and remained in hiding.
24:22 And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.