1 Samuel 26
The life of David as the anointed yet not crowned king of physical Israel is an analogy of the life of the spiritually anointed and not yet crowned New Covenant called out to be kings and priests of the millennial kingdom of God (Rev 1:6, 5:10).
David wrongfully suffered at the hands of the rebellious against God, king Saul; and those anointed to replace Satan the god-king of this world also wrongfully suffer at the hands of the spiritual Adversary.
David was tested by God and through his trials he was trained by God to be a good king; and we are being spiritually tested, purged, polished, and trained up to be good kings in the millennial kingdom of God.
David betrayed again: No wonder David wrote:
Psalm 146:3 Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, in whom there is no help.
1 Samuel 26:1 And the Ziphites came unto Saul to Gibeah, saying, Doth not David hide himself in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon?
Saul forgets his remorse at the cave and again goes out to kill David.
26:2 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. 26:3 And Saul pitched in the hill of Hachilah, which is before Jeshimon, by the way. But David abode in the wilderness, and he saw that Saul came after him into the wilderness.
David learned where the very bed of Saul was and asked for volunteers to enter Saul’s camp with him.
26:4 David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed. 26:5 And David arose, and came to the place where Saul had pitched: and David beheld the place where Saul lay, and Abner the son of Ner, the captain of his host: and Saul lay in the trench, and the people pitched round about him. 26:6 Then answered David and said to Ahimelech the Hittite, and to Abishai the son of Zeruiah, brother to Joab, saying, Who will go down with me to Saul to the camp? And Abishai said, I will go down with thee.
David’s men were willing to destroy Saul, but David rejected their desire that Saul should die so that David might be king. David did not lust for Saul’s office and was willing to wait on God to perform God’s will.
26:7 So David and Abishai came to the people by night: and, behold, Saul lay sleeping within the trench, and his spear stuck in the ground at his bolster: but Abner and the people lay round about him. 26:8 Then said Abishai to David, God hath delivered thine enemy into thine hand this day: now therefore let me smite him, I pray thee, with the spear even to the earth at once, and I will not [will not need to] smite him the second time.
David continually sets an example of godly humility and forbearance, longsuffering and patience to wait on God rather than to exalt himself. Yet David did not follow Saul in Saul’s wickedness but lived by every Word of God.
Today we should follow David’s example of patient faithfulness to live by every Word of God.
26:9 And David said to Abishai, Destroy him not: for who can stretch forth his hand against the LORD’s anointed, and be guiltless? 26:10 David said furthermore, As the LORD liveth, the LORD shall smite him; or his day shall come to die; or he shall descend into battle, and perish. 26:11 The LORD forbid that I should stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’s anointed: but, I pray thee, take thou now the spear that is at his bolster, and the cruse of water, and let us go. 26:12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.
Then David informs Saul publicly in front of his army, of his mercy to Saul, which only increased the reputation of David among the army and people. Those who exalt and call themselves by great titles fighting for the political pre-eminence in the Ekklesia should consider the example of David, and remember the words of Christ.
Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. 20:26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
The humble submissive service to God and man is the true lesson of the Passover foot washing.
If we faithfully and zealously serve our God by learning and keeping all of his Word; in due time he will exalt us. And if we seek the chief seats for ourselves, we will be rejected by Christ as unfit to receive a kingdom which we would then lead into the same kind of internal strife.
1 Samuel 26:13 Then David went over to the other side, and stood on the top of an hill afar off; a great space being between them: 26:14 And David cried to the people, and to Abner the son of Ner, saying, Answerest thou not, Abner? Then Abner answered and said, Who art thou that criest to the king? 26:15 And David said to Abner, Art not thou a valiant man? and who is like to thee in Israel? wherefore then hast thou not kept thy lord the king? for there came one of the people in to destroy the king thy lord.
David rebukes Abner.
26:16 This thing is not good that thou hast done. As the LORD liveth, ye are worthy to die, because ye have not kept your master, the LORD’s anointed. And now see where the king’s spear is, and the cruse of water that was at his bolster.
26:17 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.
David then pronounces a curse on those who had cast him out; and the same curse is pronounced on those who serve their own idols and seek to cast the faithful out of the Synagogues [assemblies] today; and against Satan their inspiration who seeks to turn us aside for our zeal for the Word of God.
26:18 And he said, Wherefore doth my lord thus pursue after his servant? for what have I done? or what evil is in mine hand? 26:19 Now therefore, I pray thee, let my lord the king hear the words of his servant. If the LORD have stirred thee up against me, let him accept an offering: but if they be the children of men, cursed be they before the LORD; for they have driven me out this day from abiding in the inheritance of the LORD, saying, Go, serve other gods.
David then describes himself in humility as nothing and refuses to shed Saul’s blood.
26:20 Now therefore, let not my blood fall to the earth before the face of the LORD: for the king of Israel is come out to seek a flea, as when one doth hunt a partridge in the mountains.
The main lesson in all these trials is that we must not try to exalt ourselves. We must wait on the Master Potter to form us into what he desires to see in us, to form us and teach us and train us to be good kings and priests who will receive an everlasting priesthood and kingdom.
God could have struck down Saul at any moment, yet he let Saul live so that he could use Saul to teach David how not to be a king, and to continually test David’s loyalty to live by every Word of God and so that God could be absolutely certain that David would not turn out to be another Saul. David was a king in training.
This is the same reason that Christ has allowed wicked men to take over the Ekklesia today; to TEST our loyalty to God as opposed to loyalty to men which is idolatry. God is also using the situation to train up his people to prepare them to be fit kings and priests by teaching all of us a lesson of loyalty and zeal to keep the whole Word of God that will make us fit to be kings and priests for all eternity.
This is not some game that is going on; the decisions we make, as to who we will follow, and the lessons we learn, will determine our fitness to be kings and priests of Jesus Christ and God the Father for all eternity.
The calendar, the new moon’s, the sanctity of the Sabbath; are all TESTS, to determine our zeal and loyalty to the Word of God above any zeal for our idols of men.
Saul is again moved by David’s words and actions and expresses his remorse.
26:21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.
David then sends back Saul’s possessions.
26:22 And David answered and said, Behold the king’s spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it.
Each person will be blessed or cursed by God’s judgment in direct proportion to his zeal for the righteousness of learning and living by every Word of God. This applies to US today and to all people for all time.
26:23 The LORD render to every man his righteousness and his faithfulness; for the LORD delivered thee into my hand to day, but I would not stretch forth mine hand against the LORD’s anointed.
David then asks Christ to deliver him for his faithfulness to the Word of God.
26:24 And, behold, as thy life was much set by this day in mine eyes, so let my life be much set by in the eyes of the LORD, and let him deliver me out of all tribulation.
26:25 Then Saul said to David, Blessed be thou, my son David: thou shalt both do great things, and also shalt still prevail. So David went on his way, and Saul returned to his place.
1 Samuel 27
David then seeks to escape from Saul and possible civil war, by going to the Philistines
1 Samuel 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; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand. 27:2 And David arose, and he passed over with the six hundred men that were with him unto Achish, the son of Maoch, king of Gath. 27:3 And David dwelt with Achish at Gath, he and his men, every man with his household, even David with his two wives, Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and Abigail the Carmelitess, Nabal’s wife.
Saul then gives up on David as inaccessible to him
27:4 And it was told Saul that David was fled to Gath: and he sought no more again for him.
Ziklag which sits on the border between Gaza and Judah was given to David, approximately the modern Israeli town of Sderot.
27:5 And David said unto Achish, If I have now found grace in thine eyes, let them give me a place in some town in the country, that I may dwell there: for why should thy servant dwell in the royal city with thee? 27:6 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day.
David and his band of 600 dwelt in Ziklag one year and four months, during which time they raided and discomfited the Amalekites, the enemies of Israel.
27:7 And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months. 27:8 And David and his men went up, and invaded the Geshurites, and the Gezrites, and the Amalekites: for those nations were of old the inhabitants of the land, as thou goest to Shur, even unto the land of Egypt.
David killed many Amalekites and brought back their spoil, deceiving Achish by claiming that the spoil was from raids on Judah. This was a military deception to allow David to continue to fight the enemies of Israel while maintaining a refuge from the king of Israel. A peculiar situation and I would have to leave any judgment to God on the matter of false witness, as I lack the wisdom to comment here.
27:9 And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish. 27:10 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.
While he dwelt in Ziklag David continually fought the enemies of Israel, and left none alive to tell of it.
27:11 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.
Achish believed David and thought that David had spoiled Judah and that David was now utterly estranged from Judah, when in fact David was fighting the enemies of Judah.
27:12 And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.