The Ziphites again tell Saul where David is hiding. Remember, the spy network is impressive. Saul takes 3,000 men with him to pursue David and his 600 men. Saul must have been worried David could take him down, bringing so many men against him. David’s men were the Mighty of the Mighty and had a reputation of defeating the enemy.
Through spies, David learns Saul is near. He sends scouts to confirm and they came back to inform David that Saul is indeed near. The Army has set up camp and Saul is smack in the middle. The commander of the Army, Abner, placed his bed roll beside Saul and the army circles about them. David has a plan and asks for a volunteer to sneak into the midst of them while they are asleep.God put the army into a deep sleep so David and, Abishai one of his mighty men, could walk right in. There they are, smack in the middle of the sleeping army. Saul is fast asleep with his spear stuck into the ground at his head. He probably put it there for a quick grab if danger came.
Abishai is amazed they got there without a hitch. “David, God has put your enemy into your hand. I can drive my spear through him and pin him into the ground. I wouldn’t need to strike him twice.”David prevents Abishai and says, “Who can stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed and be guiltless? The Lord will decide when and where Saul dies.”
David crept closer and took Saul’s spear and his jug of water that was beside his head. Not one man heard or stirred in their sleep.The men swiftly left, crossed a wide space, and climbed up a hill. David cupped his hands around his mouth. “Do you not answer me, Abner?”
“Who are you calling after the king?” Abner replied.“Abner, you didn’t do your job of protecting your king, the Lord’s anointed. Look where his spear and jug are!”
Saul recognized David’s voice. “Is that you, David?”David confirmed it and asked him, “Why have you been perusing me? If I’ve done evil against the Lord, let Him accept an offering but if it is men who have told you, let them be cursed before the Lord. They want me far away so I cannot serve the Lord. Don’t let me die far from the Lord.” (The houses of the Lord were in Israel and not where David has had to hide out)
Saul said, “I have sinned. I will not harm you anymore because you considered my life precious. May the Lord deliver me out of all my trouble. The Lord bless you!”David and his men went on their way.
Questions and things to ponder:
Saul repented for the second time. Do you think he meant it the first time? (Probably he was relieved David didn’t kill him but his heart was not really repentant)
Why didn’t David kill Saul? (Saul was anointed by Samuel and chosen by God. He felt it wrong to kill the Lord’s anointed and it was up to the Lord to decide Saul’s fate)
Why did he take his spear and jug? (Proof he was actually there. A wake up call to the fact David could have killed him but chose not to. Also, maybe to show how asleep they were and that the Lord wan on David’s side)Why didn’t the army awake while David was in the camp? (God put them into a deep sleep)
Should we try to take out our enemies or should we expect the Lord to do that? (Put it in the Lord’s hand. He may or may not do anything we know about)
David showed great self-control. He could have killed Saul and been rid of the one trying to kill him but he didn't. Do you use self-control? Do you hold in your temper and attitude with people who make you angry? We can learn from David.
We need to put out troubles into the Lord’s hand and trust Him to make it right. Also, we need to praise Him for all He has done and is doing for us. We need to bless His name.
David wrote most of the Psalms in our Bibles. These were songs he sung unto the Lord. Some are about his troubles but most are praise songs to the Lord.
Memorize: Psalm 92: 1 It is good to give thinks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High.
Verses in NKJV unless otherwise stated