I Samuel Chapter 26
in the Desert of Ziph"
Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's
transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org
I 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 Joshimon?"
These Ziphites were at it again, trying to sell the life of David to Saul, by selling the information of David's whereabouts. This is the same old game that they played earlier, creating problems that were not there, and then selling the information the back up their lies. Back in chapter 23:19 these same people tried to betray David again, and sell that information for money. It doesn't take to much smarts to put these schemes over on some one that is possessed by an evil spirit, for Saul still had that little demon hanging on to him.
I Samuel 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."
Saul bought into the Ziphites lie, and there he goes chasing after David with the best of his forces.
I Samuel 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 was a wise leader, and he kept his scouts out in watch for things that were suspicious. When Saul and this large band of men came into the wilderness of Ziph, it didn't take much to understand that this force had to be Saul and his army. Remember that Jonathan was David's best friend, and he let David know of all the trouble that his father had for David.
I Samuel 26:4 "David therefore sent out spies, and understood that Saul was come in very deed."
David now knew that those words that had reached his ears were true. The spies verified that Saul's forces were in the area, and armed for battle. You would think that after David had spared his life in the cave, you would think that the trouble would be over, but with Saul evil spirit it will not be over as long as Saul is alive.
This is why it is an important lesson for us, that when someone that is under the direct influence of Satan and his evil spirits to the point of possession, you simply can never trust that person. You have to be on guard all the time. If a person is cleansed from an evil spirit, if you do not fill that house or mind, which is the soul and body, with Jesus Christ, that mind is left empty and those evil spirits will come back with even more than before. That was what happened in Saul's case.
I Samuel 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."
The night came and Saul dug a trench for protection, and lay in the trench, while the three thousand men with Saul formed a circle of protection around him. Quiet obviously Saul's army did not provide any scouts for the night, and David and his men came right up and watched the camp as Saul was preparing from his rest. Abner was the top general of the forces, and quite obviously he was not doing his job in posting the proper protection of the camp. There is a reason that all this happened, for God was setting up protection for David. David always tried to do what was right in the eyes of God, and God protected him for it.
I Samuel 26:6 "Then answered David 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 to the camp?" And Abishai said, "I will go down with thee."
Zeruiah was the brother of David and Abishai and Joab were David's nephews. Abishai stuck by his uncle David and gave him support where ever he needed it. Sure Abishai was a brave soul for giving his support here, yet it also shows that he knew that God would protect David and him.
I Samuel 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."
It was customary that the spear be stuck into the ground and the banner hung from the spear so that the men would know where their commander was at all times. The point given here was to protect their leader if they came under attack.
I Samuel 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 smite him the second time." "
When Abishai saw Saul there sleeping and all the rest of the troops sleeping, the first instinct of Abishai was to take Saul's own spear and nail him to the ground with it. He told David that they would not take a second time, for I will just give one stroke of the spear. To do it twice would be adding insult to the injury, and David would have nothing to do with such a thought.
I Samuel 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?"
Remember that God had anointed Saul to be the king of his people, yet at the same time God had allowed Satan to place an evil spirit within Saul. It was God's place to take the vengeance upon Saul, not David's, and David knew that God would also give the protection from himself from Saul. Yet, even with God's protection, David still took all the precautions necessary for his own protection.
I Samuel 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."
In the end it was that Saul would lose his life in battle, but David left it up to the Lord how He chose to end Saul's life. David was not about to have the blood of God's anointed on his hands. This is the same situation that David faced in the prior chapter, when David was on his way to kill Nabal and his entire household, yet God sent him the beautiful Abigail to give him a message from the Lord, and in ten days Nabal died of a stroke. David did not have to have the blood of Nabal on his hands, by waiting and letting God claim the life.
David had a lesson and he was applying that lesson in the middle of the night as Saul lay asleep before him in the trench. We are to allow God's plan to be carried out, and God will take the life of whom he pleases, and allow others to be used in the negative part of his plan, to see that the entire Word will come to pass. God's Word will come to pass exactly as it is written, and we are to allow it to be. David will take something here from Saul and it will not be his life. David was an intelligent man and he learned from his mistakes.
We are to observe those things that happen in our life's experiences and learn from them, and apply them elsewhere in our life. Memories from each event will give us the foundation of knowledge for those things that come into our lives at a later date.
I Samuel 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."
Applying this to our lives, Jesus Christ would come later and be the living Water, and the tongue of Christ is the spear, the two edged sword that cuts deep. There is some symbolism in this.
I Samuel 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."
We know that God had fully protected David and his men by causing this deep sleep to fall on Saul and his army. This was not the first time that David walked amongst the army of Israel and Saul, when the men lay in fear, unable to move against the enemy. David took the five stones from the brook, and in the name of the Lord, slay the giant Goliath. David again is walking amongst the army of Saul, and there is not a man amongst them that is awake to protect the Israelites and their king. God gave the direction and power to David to bring down the beasts that attacked the sheep in the field, he brought down the giant and scattered the Philistines, and here God caused this deep sleep from the Lord to fall upon every last soldier in Saul's army.
I 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:"
This was in a desert hilly area, and David could place himself where he could be seen and heard, yet could not be reached easily. At a place like this, a voice can carry for several miles. David used this distance for his protection.
I Samuel 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?"
Abner knew that the king's sword was taken and the banner and water that was with it. He knew that protection for the king had broken down, and he had the responsibility for for the king's protection. This was why David was addressing Abner, and causing the people to know exactly what went wrong while they were all sleeping.
I Samuel 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 was calling attention to the people that Abner was a great warrior, and that there was no other like him in all Israel, yet, David is asking, why Abner had not protected Saul the king? "Why were you sleeping Abner?" An enemy of the king could have come into camp and destroyed the king.
I Samuel 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 curse of water that was at his bolster.""
This insult was directed directly at Abner. David made the point and it was well taken.
I Samuel 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." "
Saul heard that faint voice of David booming across the desert and he recognized David's voice. When he heard it Saul cried out loud, "Is that you, my son David? and David answered him, "It is my voice, my lord, O king." David had the spiritual power over Saul that whenever he played his hearp, or spoke to Saul, the evil spirit departed and Saul's heart was cleansed from those evil thoughts. Demons and evil spirits run from a person of God. Evil spirits don't want any part of a person fill with the God's Spirit. It means death to them when you order them back to where they came from, in the name of Jesus Christ.
I Samuel 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?"
David was asking Saul, Why are you coming after me? what evil have I done to you?
I Samuel 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 is telling Saul, "If it is God Himself that is driving you, that is fine, but stop listening to other men. Today there are many that like to listen to the traditions of men rather than listening to the Word of God. The point is the same. That is exactly what is happening today, for people listen to men to the point of following what a man says and they believe that it was God's message, rather than from the mind of some man.
I Samuel 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."
David was telling Saul that, you are hunting me like an animal, when I would no more hurt you than a flee would hurt a man. David was saying that he would not attack Saul any more than a partridge would attack any one. A partridge does not attack man.
I Samuel 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."
Take a close look here at Saul's words. Saul was humbling himself to a point here, admitting to playing the role of a fool, but with some reservations.
I Samuel 26:22 "And David answered and said, "Behold the king's spear! and let one of the young men come over and fetch it."
David still wanted to keep distance between himself and Saul. That is wisdom, speaking and asking for a boy to come and get the spear.
I Samuel 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."
If Saul was in his right mind he would have accepted and be changed by these words from David. But we will see that Saul hasn't really changed, and he will continue to chase after David, and do wickedly by the spirits that control his mind. Samuel had a sway on Saul's mind when he was alive, but the prophet Samuel is dead, and Saul will go out and continue doing many stupid and evil things.
I Samuel 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." "
I Samuel 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."
Saul will never see David again after this meeting across this vast desert valley of Ziph. Saul is going to die in battle before David finally comes out into the open. Even when it appeared that things were settled between these two men, the wisdom that David had from past events, he knew that Saul was still under the influence of evil spirits and would not allow Saul to have control of him.
We have the right to make clear choices in our lives as to what we will do with our lives. Each event that happens in our life gives us a little more wisdom for us to carry and direct us in the other things and events that we will face in the future. A wise man or woman uses those trials in life to learn by, and they become the guide posts for what we do in the future. When we study God's Word for the direction used by other faithful men of God like David, we can use those experiences, and apply them to our lives.
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