RULING AND REIGNING WITH GOD
February 5, 2021
Well, I’m hoping I can wrap up this part of the series today in our look at the life of David and what he had to overcome between the time he was anointed by Samuel and took the throne of Judah and Benjamin some 13 years later prior to taking the throne of the entire nation of Israel.
The overwhelming majority of us don’t live our lives on the run until we finally reach that place where we get to fulfil God’s destiny for our lives.
Of course, that mostly applies right now to us pampered Americans. I have friends in other countries that I have known throughout the years who’ve lived their lives under constant persecution, who’ve also had to be on the run for their lives from time to time.
The persecution and opposition has a real seasoning effect on us, as long as we don’t get angry and rebel against the circumstances. We can praise and worship the Lord with absolute freedom in the midst of it all and watch as God intervenes for us.
David is now going to get the test of his life. Saul is literally going to be in his hand and he will have every opportunity to get rid of this monster who has done so much to torment him, to do evil against him, and make every effort to kill him. Watch what unfolds next.
I Samuel 24:1-22: 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. 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. 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.
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. And it came to pass afterward, that David’s heart smote him, because he had cut off Saul’s skirt.
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. 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.
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.
And David said to Saul, Whereforehearest thou men’s words, saying, Behold, David seeketh thy hurt? 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.
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.
The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea. The LORD therefore be judge, and judge between me and thee, and see, and plead my cause, and deliver me out of thine hand.
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. And he said to David, Thouart more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.
And thou hast showed 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. 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. And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.
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. And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.
This entire narrative is a picture of something you wouldn’t see in today’s world, and yet it reflects the heart of David toward the Lord. Saul is literally put in a position where David has a perfect opportunity to kill him. Had he done so, Saul would no longer have been in a position to torment him and persecute him. Even though he is urged to kill Saul, he refuses. The way his conscience affects him, however, when he cutrs off a piece of Saul’s skirt is absolutely amazing.
David gets himself to a safe place and then calls out to Saul, awakening him. He challenges Saul for his continued intent to chase him down and kill him even though David has behaved himself with integrity and honor towards Saul.
With David’s challenge to Saul, he becomes very emotional and hit with conviction. He finally confesses that he knows tht God has anointed David to become King in Israel, and he pleads with David to save alive his seed after him. David, of course, has a very strong relationship with Jonathan, Saul’s son, and has no problem making that promise.
David is no dummy. He knows how fickle Saul is, and how worthless his promises are, so when everyone departs, Saul goes back to his home and his throne but David gets himself to a safe place again. The phrase used in verse 22, “the hold” refers to an area known as Paran. We see this duplicated in I Samuel 25:1 where Samuel dies, is buried in Ramah, where the had lived for many years, and David thereafter goes on to Paran.
Paran is interesting in that it is described generically as “the hold,” because this was an area where the children of Israel wandered for a good part of the 40 years they were in the wilderness. Paran is described as “the hold,” or a place of safety because it is a land of caves “abounding in foliage.”
That made it a perfect place of concealment for David and the company of hundreds of people who traveled with him. David now has a period of respite from Saul.
Now we have a different kind of event. David sends out ten of his men to visit with Nabal, an extremely wealthy man in the area of Maon, about 7 miles south of Hebron, and request assistance from him for those families that are with him. They are sent to request food and drink. Meanwhile, they are given the responsibility of standing with Nabal’s shepherds, who are in the midst of shearing their sheep, and provide protection for them from would-be thieves and robbers.
When they finally get to speak with Nabal, he insults them and he insults David.
I Samuel 25:10b-11: Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?
When the ten men return to David with their report of what takes place, David (who is already tested and wearied to the max) assembles 400 of the soldiers that are with him, telling them to strap on their swords and get ready to fight. 200 of them accompany David in person while 200 of them stay behind to protect “the stuff.” Nabal’s shepherds realize that their master is in deep trouble and go to warn Abigail, his wife.
Abigail is a totally different kind of person. Nabal is referred to as “a man of Belial,” a term to refer a person as being wicked, unreasoning, incapable of having any discussion with.
[Kind of reminds you of the Democratic Party these days, and their riot counterparts, the BLM movement and Antifa.}
Abigail, on the other hand was a woman of character and integrity. Here’s how they are referred to in the Word.
I Samuel 25:3: Now the name of the man wasNabal; and the name of his wife Abigail: and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.
Brother! Talk about a contrast! Talk about a woman of real integrity and mercy! Watch what she does next.
I Samuel 25:18-31: Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses. And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.
And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them. Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for good. So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.
And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass, and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground, And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, evenNabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabalis his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send. Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD liveth, and as thy soul liveth, seeing the LORD hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord. I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days. Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the LORD thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
And it shall come to pass, when the LORD shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel; That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the LORD shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
The final commentary on this narrative is that Nasbal decided to celebrate the success of shearing his 3000 sheep and the money that it was going to bring him. He threw a party and got himself royally drunk. As he began to sober up afterward, Abigail told him what she had done with David to spare his life. Nabal’s heart failed within him at the news and he died of heart failure a few days later.
When David learned that Nabal had died, he sought out Abigail and took her to be his wife. She was the kind of wife he wanted. He must have been desperate for female companionship by this time because he also took Ahinoam of Jezreel (a town nearby to Maon) to become a wife to him. We sort of get an understanding as to why when we learn that Saul had taken Michal from him and given her to another man to be his wife instead of David.
We’re not done with Saul yet. David had made his headquarters in the hill of Hachilah. Hachilah was a place located roughly two miles from Maon and Jezreel in the hills of the Ziphites.
Saul had no idea where David had been hiding. The Ziphites thought to endear themselves to Saul (and hopefully be rewarded by him) so they sent a delegation to Saul to let him know where David was hiding.
In his arrogance and stupidity, he decides to come after David with an army of 3,000 soldiers. David gets wind of his coming into the wilderness of Ziph and sends spies to verify his presence.
As soon as Saul’s presence is verified, David takes Abishai with him and they wait until nighttime to go to where Saul is sleeping. Saul’s spear is next to his pillow, and his water bag (skin bottle) as well.
David carefully takes both the water and the spear and carefully crosses the valley so that he is well apart from Saul. Now he calls out to Abner, who is captain of the armies of Israel.
I Samuel 26:14-16: 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 thatcriest to the king?
And David said to Abner, Artnot 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.
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.
Once again Saul responds to David’s voice. David answers him and rebukes him for his continuance in attempting to take his life. And Saul does his usual “repentance.”
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
So Saul returns home and David departs to one of his hiding places. This will be the last time that David has to contend with Saul. David, however, realizes that Saul hasn’t changed and that something might trigger him again to come after David, so he decides to take his troop into the land of the Philistines. It is a strange scenario, considering that David has killed the Philistines by the tens of thousands thus far, but he offers his services to Achish, the King of Gath.
Achish is very aware of David’s prowess as a warrior and accepts his offer. David uses his time to go out against longtime enemies of Israel, the Geshurites, the Gezrites and the Amalekites. He accomplishes what Saul failed to do and destroyed them, man and woman, and brought the sheep, the oxen, the asses and the camels and all the fine apparel to Achish.
Taking a momentary detour from our narrative here, we all remember Saul’s visit to the witch of Endor and his desire to call forth Samuel from the dead. Samuel does appear and asks Saul why he has disturbed his rest.
Saul’s answer is that he is surrounded by the Philistines, that the Lord will not answer his pleas, that the prophets will not communicate on his behalf, that he has no dreams and needs to know what to do. Samuel lets him know that he has some 24 hours to live, and that he and his armies are going to fall to the Philistines.
David is in the camp of the Philistines who are now surrounding Israel. The Philistine princes insist that David cannot accompany them, that he is a danger to them, so Achish reluctantly sends him away. This is God’s deliverance for David to prevent him from killing any of the house of Israel.
One last test for David. When he and his company returned home to Ziklag, they found that the Amalekites had invaded and taken all the inhabitants captive including David’s two wives. He called for Abiathar, the priest, to bring the priestly ephod so that he could ask the Lord what to do. The Lord instructed him to pursue the Amalekites and recover everyone and everything. The chase was successful, he recovered all and destroyed the Amalekites.
The next day, war between Israel and the Philistines ensued and both Saul and Jonathan were killed in battle. The elders of Judah and Benjamin called for David and anointed him to become their king. The promises of God to David were kept. It would be another three years before all Israel would anoint David, but he became their king — the king that forever was the standard by which Israel was judged.
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Blessings on you!
Regner A. Capener
RIVER WORSHIP CENTER
Temple, Texas 76502
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