The people mourned.
David relocated to the wilderness of Paran.
The account of Samuel, Saul and David is bringing much insight and direction to me.
I pray that is has for you.
Today, read the next portion of Scripture…the entire account.
It is important to read the whole story to see what happened.
We will discuss in subsequent times together.
Give close heed to how the Lord protects David…
1 SAMUEL 25
1 Now Samuel died. And all Israel assembled and mourned for him, and they buried him in his house at Ramah. Then David rose and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
2 And there was a man in Maon whose business was in Carmel. The man was very rich; he had three thousand sheep and a thousand goats. He was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
3 Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail. The woman was discerning and beautiful, but the man was harsh and badly behaved; he was a Calebite.
4 David heard in the wilderness that Nabal was shearing his sheep.
5 So David sent ten young men. And David said to the young men,
“Go up to Carmel, and go to Nabal and greet him in my name.
6 And thus you shall greet him:
‘Peace be to you, and peace be to your house, and peace be to all that you have.
7 I hear that you have shearers. Now your shepherds have been with us,
and we did them no harm, and they missed nothing all the time they were in Carmel.
8 Ask your young men, and they will tell you.
Therefore let my young men find favor in your eyes, for we come on a feast day.
Please give whatever you have at hand to your servants and to your son David.’”
9 When David’s young men came,
they said all this to Nabal in the name of David, and then they waited.
10 And Nabal answered David’s servants, “Who is David? Who is the son of Jesse?
There are many servants these days who are breaking away from their masters.
11 Shall I take my bread and my water and my meat that I have killed for my shearers and give it to men who come from I do not know where?”
12 So David’s young men turned away and came back and told him all this.
13 And David said to his men, “Every man strap on his sword!” And every man of them strapped on his sword. David also strapped on his sword. And about four hundred men went up after David, while two hundred remained with the baggage.
14 But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal’s wife, “Behold, David sent messengers out of the wilderness to greet our master, and he railed at them.
15 Yet the men were very good to us, and we suffered no harm, and we did not miss anything when we were in the fields, as long as we went with them.
16 They were a wall to us both by night and by day,
all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
17 Now therefore know this and consider what you should do,
for harm is determined against our master and against all his house,
and he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.”
18 Then Abigail made haste and took two hundred loaves and two skins of wine and five sheep already prepared and five seahs of parched grain and a hundred clusters of raisins and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on donkeys.
19 And she said to her young men, “Go on before me; behold, I come after you.”
But she did not tell her husband Nabal.
20 And as she rode on the donkey and came down under cover of the mountain,
behold, David and his men came down toward her, and she met them.
21 Now David had said, “Surely in vain have I guarded all that this fellow has in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that belonged to him, and he has returned me evil for good.
22 God do so to the enemies of David and more also,
if by morning I leave so much as one male of all who belong to him.”
23 When Abigail saw David, she hurried and got down from the donkey and fell before David on her face and bowed to the ground.
24 She fell at his feet and said, “On me alone, my lord, be the guilt.
Please let your servant speak in your ears, and hear the words of your servant.
25 Let not my lord regard this worthless fellow, Nabal, for as his name is, so is he.
Nabal is his name, and folly is with him.
But I your servant did not see the young men of my lord, whom you sent.
26 Now then, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, because the LORD has restrained you from bloodguilt and from saving with your own hand, now then let your enemies and those who seek to do evil to my lord be as Nabal.
27 And now let this present that your servant has brought to my lord be given to the young men who follow my lord.
28 Please forgive the trespass of your servant.
For the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house, because my lord is fighting the battles of the LORD, and evil shall not be found in you so long as you live.
29 If men rise up to pursue you and to seek your life,
the life of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of the living in the care of the LORD your God. And the lives of your enemies he shall sling out as from the hollow of a sling.
30 And when the LORD has done to my lord according to all the good that he has spoken concerning you and has appointed you prince over Israel,
31 my lord shall have no cause of grief or pangs of conscience for having shed blood without cause or for my lord taking vengeance himself.
And when the LORD has dealt well with my lord, then remember your servant.”
32 And David said to Abigail,
“Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who sent you this day to meet me!
33 Blessed be your discretion, and blessed be you, who have kept me this day from bloodguilt and from avenging myself with my own hand!
34 For as surely as the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, who has restrained me from hurting you, unless you had hurried and come to meet me, truly by morning there had not been left to Nabal so much as one male.”
35 Then David received from her hand what she had brought him. And he said to her, “Go up in peace to your house. See, I have obeyed your voice, and I have granted your petition.”
36 And Abigail came to Nabal, and behold, he was holding a feast in his house, like the feast of a king. And Nabal’s heart was merry within him, for he was very drunk.
So she told him nothing at all until the morning light.
37 In the morning, when the wine had gone out of Nabal,
his wife told him these things, and his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
38 And about ten days later the LORD struck Nabal, and he died.
39 When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, “Blessed be the LORD who has avenged the insult I received at the hand of Nabal, and has kept back his servant from wrongdoing. The LORD has returned the evil of Nabal on his own head.”
Then David sent and spoke to Abigail, to take her as his wife.
40 When the servants of David came to Abigail at Carmel, they said to her,
“David has sent us to you to take you to him as his wife.”
41 And she rose and bowed with her face to the ground and said,
“Behold, your handmaid is a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.”
42 And Abigail hurried and rose and mounted a donkey, and her five young women attended her. She followed the messengers of David and became his wife.
43 David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives.
44 Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife,
to Palti the son of Laish, who was of Gallim.
What has the Lord spoke to you?
What questions do you have?
Samuel, Saul, David.
We have seen the relationship between them.
Samuel, the prophet.
Saul, the King.
David, the “King-in-waiting”.
We saw in our last time together that Saul acknowledged that David would be king.
Watch what happened next…
Then Samuel died;
and all Israel gathered together and mourned for him,
and buried him at his house in Ramah.
And David arose and went down to the wilderness of Paran.
The brevity of the account…
The pointed declaration…
Reminds us that life is but a fleeting vapor.
Enjoy life with the woman whom you love all the days of your fleeting life which He has given to you under the sun;
for this is your reward in life and in your toil in which you have labored under the sun.
So, remove grief and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body,
because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting.
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.
You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
So, Samuel dies.
All Israel gathered together and mourned him.
They buried him at his house in Ramah.
David arose and relocated to the wilderness of Paran.
Should we not consider what we are doing with the fleeting vapor of life that the Lord has graciously granted us?
“You Are More Righteous Than I”
David had presented his case before Saul.
David declared that Saul had nothing to fear from him.
David could have killed Saul, but he did not.
David rested in the Lord.
David waited upon the Lord.
Doing so actually “poured heaping coals” upon the head of Saul.
What was Saul’s response?
When David had finished speaking these words to Saul, Saul said,
“Is this your voice, my son David?”
Then Saul lifted up his voice and wept.
He said to David, “You are more righteous than I;
for you have dealt well with me, while I have dealt wickedly with you.
“You have declared today that you have done good to me,
that the LORD delivered me into your hand and yet you did not kill me.
“For if a man finds his enemy, will he let him go away safely?
May the LORD therefore reward you with good in return for what you have done to me this day.
“Now, behold, I know that you will surely be king,
and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hand.
“So now swear to me by the LORD that you will not cut off my descendants after me and that you will not destroy my name from my father’s household.”
David swore to Saul.
And Saul went to his home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.
Saul knew the truth. Yet, when the evil spirit came upon him…
Note Saul’s reaction.
He lifted up his voice.
He knew that David was correct.
He knew, and declared, that David’s actions had been more righteous than his.
He knew that David had dealt well with him.
He knew that he was dealt evil against David.
He knew that the Lord had delivered him into David’s hands.
He knew David had mercy.
He asked the Lord to bless David for what he had done.
Then this declaration…
He knew, and verbally verified before all, that David would be king.
He knew the kingdom would be established in David’s hands.
This is a serious acknowledgement.
Because of this, Saul asked for mercy upon his family.
He wanted David to swear that he would not “cut off” Saul’s descendants after Saul died.
He asked that his name not be destroyed from his father’s household.
He knew that his days were numbered…as leader…as among the living.
He wanted to protect his family.
David swore this to Saul.
We will see later how David fulfilled this oath.
Afterwards Saul went home.
David and his men went to the stronghold.
One would think that all is now well.
One would be wrong…
“May the Lord Judge Between Us…”
David refused to stretch out his hand against the Lord’s anointed - king Saul.
David’s action of cutting away part of Saul’s robe pricked his conscience.
David now used the situation to provide evidence of his sincere heart toward the King…
Now afterward David arose and went out of the cave and called after Saul, saying,
“My lord the king!” And when Saul looked behind him,
David bowed with his face to the ground and prostrated himself.
David said to Saul, “Why do you listen to the words of men, saying,
‘Behold, David seeks to harm you’?
“Behold, this day your eyes have seen that the LORD had given you today into my hand in the cave, and some said to kill you, but my eye had pity on you; and I said, ‘I will not stretch out my hand against my lord, for he is the LORD’S anointed.’
“Now, my father, see! Indeed, see the edge of your robe in my hand! For in that I cut off the edge of your robe and did not kill you, know and perceive that there is no evil or rebellion in my hands, and I have not sinned against you, though you are lying in wait for my life to take it.
“May the LORD judge between you and me, and may the LORD avenge me on you;
but my hand shall not be against you.
“As the proverb of the ancients says, ‘Out of the wicked comes forth wickedness’;
but my hand shall not be against you.
“After whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing?
A dead dog, a single flea?
“The LORD therefore be judge and decide between you and me;
and may He see and plead my cause and deliver me from your hand.”
- Calls Saul “lord’
- Bows/prostrates himself before Saul
- Questions why Saul is listening to bad counsel
- Declares that Saul has nothing to fear from him
- Reveals how the Lord had delivered Saul into his hand
- Tells how he had pity on Saul
- States that he would not hurt/kill Saul…though encouraged to do so
- Called Saul “father”
- Showed the evidence of how close Saul came to death..the cut edge of the robe
- Testified that there was no evil or rebellion in his heart/hands toward Saul.
- Called upon the Lord to be the judge between them
- Rested in the Lord to avenge
- Described himself as a dead dog, a flea…why would Saul pursue such?
- Reiterated that he would allow the Lord to judge…to see…to plead his cause and the deliver him.
May we be as David when confronted by enemies.
“For Be It From Me…”
The saga continues.
David is in Engedi.
Saul hears where he is.
He pursues David.
This passage is humorous yet dangerous.
But, there is much more.
We learn how to handle some things.
Now when Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, saying,
“Behold, David is in the wilderness of Engedi.”
Then Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and went to seek David and his men in front of the Rocks of the Wild Goats.
He came to the sheepfolds on the way, where there was a cave; and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the inner recesses of the cave.
The men of David said to him, “Behold, this is the day of which the LORD said to you,
‘Behold; I am about to give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as it seems good to you.’” Then David arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe secretly.
It came about afterward that David’s conscience bothered him because he had cut off the edge of Saul’s robe.
So he said to his men, “Far be it from me because of the LORD that I should do this thing to my lord, the LORD’S anointed, to stretch out my hand against him,
since he is the LORD’S anointed.”
David persuaded his men with these words and did not allow them to rise up against Saul.
And Saul arose, left the cave, and went on his way.
David and his men, outnumbered 5-1, were hiding in the inner recesses of the cave.
Saul went in to relieve himself…the KJV says “to cover his feet”…#2.
David’s men thought this was the fulfillment of the Word of the Lord.
Now David’s enemy would be delivered into his hands!
David was caught up in this…to a degree.
Why a degree?
He did not immediately kill the King.
He stealthily arose and cut off the edge of Saul’s robe.
To what purpose we will see later.
But, then David’s conscience bothered him.
The Lord moving.
He had humiliated the king…though the king did not know.
David’s words are profound.
“Far be it from me because of the Lord that I should do this thing to my lord…”
David still acknowledged Saul as “lord/king”, though David was anointed king.
David would not use the reasoning of fulfilling the Word of the Lord to humiliate the king.
David called Saul “the Lord’s anointed”.
The Lord had anointed him, though the Spirit of the Lord had now left him.
David determined to not stretch out his hands.
He would not “hurry the plan along”.
He would rest in God’s timing.
He would not be the hand against God’s anointed.
David persuaded his men to not arise against Saul and to await the Lord.
May we do likewise.