1Sa 26: "Betrayed by men of his own tribe, David returns Saul
good for evil, as he meets him for the last time. Reconciliation is effected,
but David refuses an offer by the king to return to his former position of
favour. David realises the impossible situation that would occur under such
circumstances, and rested in the Hand of Providence for guidance. It was at that
time that the Ziphites incite Saul against David (1Sa 26:1-4), but Saul found
himself in David's power (vv 5-12). Knowing the country, David had the advantage
over Saul and could watch him without being discovered. It was a time of trial,
and David could have easily taken the opportunity to dispose of his constant
enemy. But he was guided by a mature principle: Saul was Yahweh's Anointed, and
as such David had no right to destroy him (cp v 9). Saul had no such scruples,
although he knew that God had appointed David to succeed him. Then David
reproved Abner (vv 13-16). How startled Saul's army must have been as David's
voice rang out in the stillness of the night with his cutting taunts at the
expense of Abner. David reproves Saul (vv 17-20), and a reconciliation is
effected (vv 21-25). This was the last time David and Saul met" (GEM).
'Do not believe the worst about your enemies until they PROVE
"I'LL GO WITH YOU," SAID ABISHAI: "The righteous are as
bold as a lion" (Pro 28:1).
WITH HIS SPEAR STUCK IN THE GROUND: "In an Arab
encampment, this marks the sheik's tent" (StrScr 46).
LYING ASLEEP: A supernatural sleep (v 12). This
occasion was much more marked than that of 1Sa 24:4-6 -- being evidently "from
the Lord". Thus it would be a sorer trial.
DON'T DESTROY HIM!: Cp "Al taschith" (Destroy not) Pss:
Psa 56; 57; 58; 74. The mercy David showed the LORD's anointed was later shown
by God to him (David) as the LORD's anointed.
WHO CAN LAY A HAND ON THE LORD'S ANOINTED AND BE
GUILTLESS?: Such an act would be sin, and moreover unnecessary (v
SO DAVID TOOK THE SPEAR: The theft of the spear would
remind Saul of what he tried to do with it -- more than once.
WHAT WRONG AM I GUILTY OF?: "Can any of you prove me
guilty of sin?" (Joh 8:46; cp Joh 18:23).
IF THE LORD HAS INCITED YOU AGAINST ME: This is always
a possibility to consider when one suffers at the hands of others. Cp David with
Shimei (2Sa 16:10).
THEY HAVE NOW DRIVEN ME FROM MY SHARE IN THE LORD'S
INHERITANCE, AND HAVE SAID, 'GO, SERVE OTHER GODS': David's sad words here
demonstrate that his greatest sense of loss in exile was not that of his
personal comfort or material prosperity, but rather his opportunity for
fellowship with God. By making him an outcast, as they did at the behest of
Saul, his countrymen were cutting him off from the tabernacle and the altar, and
'suggesting' that he serve other gods. In our zeal to do right, our ecclesias
should consider whether their treatment of offenders might not have the same
effect. It is impossible to justify the 'middle-of-the-road' course in a matter
of disfellowship -- that is, to 'separate' or 'withdraw' while still attaching
no taint of moral judgment. For an ecclesia to practice excommunication, while
holding out no realistic possibility of refellowship, is in effect to tell the
brother or sister involved, 'Go, serve other gods!' How many righteous "Davids"
have been so treated?
A FLEA: Insignificant, worthless.
AN ONE HUNTS A PARTRIDGE IN THE MOUNTAINS: Falcons are
used in the east to hunt partridges (LB 209). Partridges offer no resistance (as
THEN SAUL SAID, "I HAVE SINNED": // "I have sinned,"
Judas said, "for I have betrayed innocent blood" (Mat 27:4).
I HAVE SINNED: There is a radical distinction between
natural regret and God-given repentance. The flesh can feel remorse, acknowledge
its evil deeds, and be ashamed of itself. However, this sort of disgust with
past actions can be quickly shrugged off, and the individual can soon go back to
his old wicked ways. None of the marks of true repentance described in 2Co 7:11
are found in his behavior. Out of a list of 11 men in the Bible who said, "I
have sinned," poss only five actually repented. They were David (2Sa 12:13;
24:10; 1Ch 21:8; Psa 41:4), Nehemiah (Neh 1:6), Job (Job 42:5,6), Micah (Mic
7:9), and the prodigal son (Luk 15:18). The other (poss less sincere) instances?
Pharaoh in Exo 9:27; 10:16; Balaam in Num 22:34; Achan in Jos 7:20; Saul in 1Sa
15:24,30; 26:21; Shimei in 2Sa 19:20; Judas in Mat 27:4.
David does not trust Saul. He knows that Saul, though
apparently repentant, will "" (Jam 1:23,24).
Note: David does NOT say, 'May YOU value my life..." He trusts
in God alone.