1 Samuel 24:1-26:25 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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David Feared and Loved God
Comments for Study 11

1 Samuel 24:1-26:25
Memory Verse: 26:23a

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I. David Spares Saul's Live (24:1-22)

>1. After pursuing the Philistines what did Saul resume? (1-2)

* 1 Samuel 24:1-2 "After Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines, he was told, "David is in the Desert of En Gedi." So Saul took three thousand chosen men from all Israel and set out to look for David and his men near the Crags of the Wild Goats."

* "Saul returned from pursuing the Philistines" -Even though Saul was obsessed with finding and killing David, he did not stop his main function as king, defending Israel. However, something related to that, destroying the people and nations that still occupied the promised land and whom the Lord told Israel to kill was not obeyed by Saul. The expense and waisted time and energy on finding David was demanded by Saul.

* "En Gedi" -En Gedi is an oasis on the western shore of the Salt Sea east of Ziph and Horesh, and about 35 miles (55km) south-east of Jerusalem. It was given to Judah and was in the district of Judah known as the wilderness district.

* Psalms 17:8-15 records David's prayer, "Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground. They are like a lion hungry for prey, like a great lion crouching in cover. Rise up, O Lord, confront them, bring them down; rescue me from the wicked by your sword. O Lord, by your hand save me from such men, from men of this world whose reward is in this life. You still the hunger of those you cherish; their sons have plenty, and they store up wealth for their children. And I--in righteousness I will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness."

>What opportunity did David have to kill Saul?

* 1 Samuel 24:3-4 "He came to the sheep pens along the way; a cave was there, and Saul went in to relieve himself. David and his men were far back in the cave. The men said, "This is the day the Lord spoke of when he said to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.'" Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul's robe."

* "David and his men were far back in the cave" -Hebrews 11:32 and 37b-40 records David's faith as an inspiration to us of men of faith. "And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets... destitute, persecuted and mistreated-- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect."

* "I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish" -Scriptures does not record that the Lord ever said this to David. Perhaps the men misquoted what was said when David was anointed or what Jacob said to Judah. Perhaps a false prophet said it. If the Lord did say it to David, then David had a chose, for this is not a command. Often we are given advice by people not knowing if it is the Lord's will or not. No matter who gives us advice we should pray and ask Lord to verify what was said. For all the time God have me advice through them there are ten other times that the advice was not from the Lord Jesus. 1 John 4:1 states, "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

* "cut off a corner of Saul's robe" -David stuck to his decision to not lay a hand on Saul, God's anointed king. David was humble and gentle to God's people. He did not take over the kingdom by force or revolution. Jesus is also humble and meek, riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, not a horse. Jesus will only become king when Israel boldly and proudly cry out for him to come and be their king. Jesus is waiting for that to this very day.

* People had said and prayed that God would open doors for them so that they will know his will. Then, if an opportunity opened up they assume that it is God's sign that they should act. David's opportunity to be freed from Saul seemed to open up as those around him were quick to point out. They were wrong and so could we. Just because a seemingly favorable situation is presented to us does not mean that we should act as it appears. For David, this was a test of character and resolve. I have to admit that at this time in my life, being unemployed, studying the Bible deeply and preparing materials for people all around the world to use, I look for opening doors. When a door opens I wonder what should I do. I can see why Jesus taught us to pray, "lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one." (Matt. 6:13) I want to do what is right and best, but my heart is weak and my understanding is poor. I pray that the word of God may be written on my heart. Around a year ago I wondered and prayed on why God keeps his people in this world of troubles and puts us in situations where we need to make tough decisions. He revealed to me through his Spirit reminding me of his word that we are being prepared for our usefulness in the future, the coming Millennium and eternity. That is what inspired me to write The Believer's Future - Hope that Inspires.

* "cut off a corner of Saul's robe" -Saul may have taken his rob off and set it aside. Though some believe that he still had it on. If so it would have been a tricky maneuver.

>Why didn't he? (5-7)

* 1 Samuel 24:5-7 "Afterward, David was conscience-stricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, "The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the Lord's anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the Lord." With these words David rebuked his men and did not allow them to attack Saul. And Saul left the cave and went his way."

* "conscience" -The conscience is the part of us that tells us if we have done right or wrong though we can fool our conscience. The conscience is the part of the heart that can go hard if we continually reject what it is saying to us. The conscience should lead us to repentance before God and men, and correcting the wrongs that we do. The conscience is a gift of God. Paul wrote, "I speak the truth in Christ--I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit" (Romans 9:1) And "Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience." (Romans 13:5) And 1 Corinthians 4:4-5 "My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God." And 1 Corinthians 8:7 "But not everyone knows this. Some people are still so accustomed to idols that when they eat such food they think of it as having been sacrificed to an idol, and since their conscience is weak, it is defiled."

* "The Lord forbid that I should do such a thing to my master" -Romans 13:1-7 says that we should respect the governing authority.

* "his robe" -The king's rob would have been a costly and rare outer garment in one piece. Cutting it off would have lowered its value and given the king a bad image. David had destroyed another man's property to prove a point. That is why he was conscience-stricken.

* "the anointed of the Lord" -Jesus is the anointed of the Lord, anointed by the Holy Spirit. Yet the religious leaders wanted to take his life, something that David would never have done.

* "David rebuked his men" -Sometimes leaders need to correct the wrong heart attitude. Jesus rebuked Peter when he told Jesus to never speak of his death. (Matt. 16:23)

>2. How did he use this event to defuse Saul's determination to destroy him? (8-11)

* 1 Samuel 24:8-11 "Then David went out of the cave and called out to Saul, "My lord the king!" When Saul looked behind him, David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground. He said to Saul, "Why do you listen when men say, 'David is bent on harming you'? This day you have seen with your own eyes how the Lord delivered you into my hands in the cave. Some urged me to kill you, but I spared you; I said, 'I will not lift my hand against my master, because he is the Lord's anointed.' See, my father, look at this piece of your robe in my hand! I cut off the corner of your robe but did not kill you. Now understand and recognize that I am not guilty of wrongdoing or rebellion. I have not wronged you, but you are hunting me down to take my life."

* David exposed himself to the man who wanted to kill him. David, interestingly had faith in the Lord (saying he would be king) and perhaps enough faith in Saul that when shown he was not his enemy, Saul would repent and let David go.

* "David bowed down and prostrated himself with his face to the ground" -Submission and trust.

* "my father" -Saul was David's father-in-law.

>What saying did he quote?

* 1 Samuel 24:12-13 "May the Lord judge between you and me. And may the Lord avenge the wrongs you have done to me, but my hand will not touch you. As the old saying goes, 'From evildoers come evil deeds,' so my hand will not touch you."

* David's quote is not in the Bible. Yet, it suited David's point that he is not a man who does evil things.

>What principle can we learn here? (Rom. 12:19-21)

* Romans 12:19-21 "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

* Jesus taught they very hard to practice, "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also." (Matt. 5:38-39) Many in my past and to this day have done or threatened evil against me. I have tried to follow Jesus' teaching.

>3. What questions did David ask and then answer? (14-15)

* 1 Samuel 24:14-15 "Against whom has the king of Israel come out? Whom are you pursuing? A dead dog? A flea? May the Lord be our judge and decide between us. May he consider my cause and uphold it; may he vindicate me by delivering me from your hand."

* "A dead dog" -A deed dog cannot not bite. However, David was not a dead dog and thus David was perhaps hinting that Saul had taken on more than he believes.

* "a flea" -A flea has not power over man, the smallest of creatures in Palestine. However, David is not a flee, thus implying the same as above.

* "May the Lord be our judge" -David was calling the Lord to decide who is right, being sure that he was innocent. In stating this David is saying that Saul is guilty of wrong against David.

* "vindicate" -Many people had unkind words to say about David. Gossip is the tool of the devil. David was saying the gossip about him is wrong. Much of the gossip started from Saul. Proverbs 20:19 states, "A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid a man who talks too much." Proverbs 11:13 states, "A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret." I am guilty of gossip. Not only Paul, but Jesus must be saying to us, "For I am afraid that when I come I may not find you as I want you to be, and you may not find me as you want me to be. I fear that there may be quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, factions, slander, gossip, arrogance and disorder." (2 Cor. 12:20)

>How was Jesus and David alike? (Luke 22:49-53)

* Luke 22:49-53 "When Jesus' followers saw what was going to happen, they said, "Lord, should we strike with our swords?" And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear. But Jesus answered, "No more of this!" And he touched the man's ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple guard, and the elders, who had come for him, "Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come with swords and clubs? Every day I was with you in the temple courts, and you did not lay a hand on me. But this is your hour--when darkness reigns."

* Both were gentle and humble; showing great faith. They trusted that God the Father would work out his course in his way. They did not resist or do harm to another just so that they could be free to do what they wanted and live in peace. Romans 13:8 states, "Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellow man has fulfilled the law."

>What did Saul confess? (16-20)

* 1 Samuel 24:16-20 "When David finished saying this, Saul asked, "Is that your voice, David my son?" And he wept aloud. "You are more righteous than I," he said. "You have treated me well, but I have treated you badly. You have just now told me of the good you did to me; the Lord delivered me into your hands, but you did not kill me. When a man finds his enemy, does he let him get away unharmed? May the Lord reward you well for the way you treated me today. I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands."

* "Is that your voice" -David must have been a good distance away. Also, he was face down in the dirt.

* "And he wept aloud" -Saul knew he was wrong as David pointed out in front of all those present.

* "You are more righteous than I" -Judah confessed this to Tamar. (Gen. 38:26) Judah repentance lasted, Saul's will not.

* "reward you well" -Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."

* "I know you will surely be king" -Saul not only verbalized the truth, but was also stating that because David was so kind and true, he deserved to be king.

>What promise did Saul ask David to make?

* 1 Samuel 24:21-22 "Now swear to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my descendants or wipe out my name from my father's family."

* "you will not cut off my descendants" -In ancient times when the dynasty changed the new ruler killed the entire family of the former, to firmly establish kingdom.

* "wipe out my name" -No descendants left to pass down his name and seed.

>How did the day conclude? (22)

* 1 Samuel 24:22 "So David gave his oath to Saul. Then Saul returned home, but David and his men went up to the stronghold.

* Each man went there own way, not completely trusting or accepting the other. Saul's kingdom and David's kingdom will not work together. The anti-Christs' kingdom and Jesus' kingdom cannot exist together. Either we are in one or the other. We cannot be in this world (Babylon) and the kingdom of heaven.

>What does this event teach about David?

* David had courage to stand against the group and do what he knew was right.

* David kept his promise to Saul and Jonathan. He did not kill or destroy their name. However, the Philistines and Gibeonites did.

* David had cut off a part of the king's robe, a symbol of being a king. Saul saw this as revelations and asked that David not completely cut off all his robe. Jonathan also had asked not to be cut off with David's enemy.

II. David, Nabal, and Abigail (25:1-44)

>5. How does Samuel's death affect Israel? (1a)

* 1 Samuel 25:1a "Now Samuel died, and all Israel assembled and mourned for him; and they buried him at his home in Ramah."

* "all Israel assembled" -Saul and David might have been present too. There is no reason to believe otherwise.

* David would later employ Samuel's son, Joel to serve in the tabernacle. (1 Chron. 6:33)

* Samuel is held in high regard among the Jews to this very day. (Ps. 99:6; Jer. 15:1; Acts 3:24)

* Samuel's role as prophet is now replaced by Nathan and Gad. (1 Sam. 22:5; and 2 Sam. 24:7; and 1 Chron. 29:29)

>What does this show about his ministry? (3:20-21; 7:6,15-16; 10:5; Acts 3:24, 13:20b; Ps. 99:6; Jer. 15:1)

* 1 Samuel 3:20-21 "And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the Lord. The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word."

* 1 Samuel 7:6 "When they had assembled at Mizpah, they drew water and poured it out before the Lord. On that day they fasted and there they confessed, "We have sinned against the Lord." And Samuel was leader of Israel at Mizpah."

* 1 Samuel 7:15-16 "Samuel continued as judge over Israel all the days of his life. From year to year he went on a circuit from Bethel to Gilgal to Mizpah, judging Israel in all those places."

* 1 Samuel 10:5 "After that you will go to Gibeah of God, where there is a Philistine outpost. As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, tambourines, flutes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying."

* Acts 3:24 "Indeed, all the prophets from Samuel on, as many as have spoken, have foretold these days."

* Acts 13:20b "After this, God gave them judges until the time of Samuel the prophet."

* Psalms 99:6 "Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel was among those who called on his name; they called on the Lord and he answered them."

* Jeremiah 15:1 "Then the Lord said to me: "Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go!"

* Samuel's life saw a transition from Judge, who was a leader and a mouthpiece for God to a separation of the two ministries. From now on their would be kings as the political leader and prophets who were God's mouthpiece as the spiritual leaders. This would prove to be another step away from God and proof that man can not lead himself. This proved that God must be our king. When Jesus comes again, he will be our judge, king, prophet and priest in physical form. He is already that to the church through the Holy Spirit whom is in us.

>6. Where did David go and who lived there? (1b-3)

* 1 Samuel 25:1b "Then David moved down into the Desert of Maon. A certain man in Maon, who had property there at Carmel, was very wealthy. He had a thousand goats and three thousand sheep, which he was shearing in Carmel. His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings."

* "the Desert of Maon" -David had been here before. (23:24)

* "Carmel" -A village in the tribal territory assigned Judah (Josh. 15:55). King Saul set up a monument after he defeated the Amalekites there (1 Sam. 15:12).

* "Calebite" -A Calebite was a descendant of Caleb, one of the twelve spies sent by Moses to spy out the promised land. He gave a good report, against ten other bad reports. At the age of eighty-five Caleb conquered Hebron. (Josh. 14)

>What kind of man was me? (14-17)

* 1 Samuel 25:14-17 "One of the servants told Nabal's wife Abigail: "David sent messengers from the desert to give our master his greetings, but he hurled insults at them. Yet these men were very good to us. They did not mistreat us, and the whole time we were out in the fields near them nothing was missing. Night and day they were a wall around us all the time we were herding our sheep near them. Now think it over and see what you can do, because disaster is hanging over our master and his whole household. He is such a wicked man that no one can talk to him."

* "surly and mean in his dealings" -verse 3.

* "a wicked man"

* "no one can talk to him"

* "hurled insults"

* Abigail "was an intelligent and beautiful woman." Sometimes the best of people are married to the worse of people. And so when Jesus comes again, "on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left." (Luke 17:34)

>What word did David send to him? (4-9)

* 1 Samuel 25:4-8 "While David was in the desert, he heard that Nabal was shearing sheep. So he sent ten young men and said to them, "Go up to Nabal at Carmel and greet him in my name. Say to him: 'Long life to you! Good health to you and your household! And good health to all that is yours! 'Now I hear that it is sheep-shearing time. When your shepherds were with us, we did not mistreat them, and the whole time they were at Carmel nothing of theirs was missing. Ask your own servants and they will tell you. Therefore be favorable toward my young men, since we come at a festive time. Please give your servants and your son David whatever you can find for them.' When David's men arrived, they gave Nabal this message in David's name. Then they waited."

* "ten young men" -Who would not be mistaken from a threat.

* "in my name" -They were acting on David's behalf for David's will much like Christians are to go and pray in Jesus name.

* " sheep-shearing time" -A festive time because of great blessing and wealth is made. Customs of the day dictated that strangers and travellers should be shown hospitality no matter what the size. Part of Nabal's wealth and prosperity was because of David's service. David was not asking for charity, but to receive some pay.

* David protected Nabal's flock from thieves, wild animals, and the Philistines.

* Paying for protection by roaming bands of men in the area is still a practice to this day.

>What answer did David receive back and how did he respond? (10-13)

* 1 Samuel 25:10-13 "Nabal answered David's servants, "Who is this David? Who is this son of Jesse? Many servants are breaking away from their masters these days. Why should I take my bread and water, and the meat I have slaughtered for my shearers, and give it to men coming from who knows where?" David's men turned around and went back. When they arrived, they reported every word. David said to his men, "Put on your swords!" So they put on their swords, and David put on his. About four hundred men went up with David, while two hundred stayed with the supplies."

* We should not be like Nabal, we should reward those who show us kindness and help us.

>Why? (20-22)

* 1 Samuel 25:20-22 "As she came riding her donkey into a mountain ravine, there were David and his men descending toward her, and she met them. David had just said, "It's been useless--all my watching over this fellow's property in the desert so that nothing of his was missing. He has paid me back evil for good. May God deal with David, be it ever so severely, if by morning I leave alive one male of all who belong to him!"

* David was about to take vengeance into his own hands. Romans 12:19-21 states, "Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord. On the contrary: "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

* David is man, sinful like the rest of us. So his weakness is now seen for the first time. David was patient in dealing with Saul. Now he has had his fill of dealing with wicket men.

* "May God deal with David, be it ever so severely" -David invokes a curse upon himself, his second sin in this incident. Nowhere does it say that the Lord honored or kept this. We should not curse ourselves or anyone else for the Lord Jesus is judge.

* Matthew 5:36-37 "And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black. Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."

>7. How did Abigail show her quality and help David? (18-19, 23-25)

* 1 Samuel 25:18-19 "Abigail lost no time. She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five dressed sheep, five seahs of roasted grain, a hundred cakes of raisins and two hundred cakes of pressed figs, and loaded them on donkeys. Then she told her servants, "Go on ahead; I'll follow you." But she did not tell her husband Nabal.'

* 1 Samuel 25:23-25 "When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off her donkey and bowed down before David with her face to the ground. She fell at his feet and said: "My lord, let the blame be on me alone. Please let your servant speak to you; hear what your servant has to say. May my lord pay no attention to that wicked man Nabal. He is just like his name--his name is Fool, and folly goes with him. But as for me, your servant, I did not see the men my master sent."

* We should always try to correct of an error of judgement committed by someone in our household.

* "a hundred cakes of raisins" -To this day Hebron produces the best grapes in all the country. Many of the finest are dried into grapes.

* "fool... folly" -In Hebrew they mean not only stupid but perversity, insensitive to the claims of God and men and irreligious.

* Though Abigail calls herself a servant, she is master of the event, working against a foolish husband and a man bent on destruction.

>What words of encouragement did she give him?

* 1 Samuel 25:26-31 "Now since the Lord has kept you, my master, from bloodshed and from avenging yourself with your own hands, as surely as the Lord lives and as you live, may your enemies and all who intend to harm my master be like Nabal. And let this gift, which your servant has brought to my master, be given to the men who follow you. Please forgive your servant's offense, for the Lord will certainly make a lasting dynasty for my master, because he fights the Lord's battles. Let no wrongdoing be found in you as long as you live. Even though someone is pursuing you to take your life, the life of my master will be bound securely in the bundle of the living by the Lord your God. But the lives of your enemies he will hurl away as from the pocket of a sling. When the Lord has done for my master every good thing he promised concerning him and has appointed him leader over Israel, my master will not have on his conscience the staggering burden of needless bloodshed or of having avenged himself. And when the Lord has brought my master success, remember your servant."

* "a lasting dynasty for my mater" -She was sure that David would be king.

* "every good thing he promised" -Many knew and believed that David had been anointed as the next king. Even Saul's public proclamation would spread quickly.

* A wise person keeps another from doing wrong. The right words spoken at the right time in the right way surely comes from the Lord.

* Life's tough situation can bring out the best in people. God uses those whose heart seek after him in ways they cannot determine.

>How did David respond?

* 1 Samuel 25:32-35 "David said to Abigail, "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, who has sent you today to meet me. May you be blessed for your good judgment and for keeping me from bloodshed this day and from avenging myself with my own hands. Otherwise, as surely as the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, who has kept me from harming you, if you had not come quickly to meet me, not one male belonging to Nabal would have been left alive by daybreak." Then David accepted from her hand what she had brought him and said, "Go home in peace. I have heard your words and granted your request."

* "Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel" -David knew that the Lord had saved him from evil by sending this woman to him. He thank God publicly.

* We should always recognize those the Lord uses in our favor.

* Nabal and Saul are similar in relation to David for he protect both men's "flocks". David was reassured through this that Saul would not prevail against him. This was a foreshadow of Saul's soon death at the hand of the Lord.

* Saul is also indirectly called a fool through this.

* David was kept from doing what Saul was doing to him. David now learned that he is not as different from Saul as might have appeared. God trains us in ways we cannot have dreamed of and always should head.

* Violence breeds violence, while restraint brings peace and blessing.

* Proverbs 20:22 "Do not say, "I'll pay you back for this wrong!" Wait for the Lord, and he will deliver you."

* David shows another weakness; his compassion leads him to be easily swayed by sweat talking and beautiful women.

>What happened to Nabal, her husband?

* 1 Samuel 25:36-38 "When Abigail went to Nabal, he was in the house holding a banquet like that of a king. He was in high spirits and very drunk. So she told him nothing until daybreak. Then in the morning, when Nabal was sober, his wife told him all these things, and his heart failed him and he became like a stone. About ten days later, the Lord struck Nabal and he died."

* "then in the morning" -Abigail waited until her husband wasn't drunk. Drunken fools lash out at those closest to them because they become paranoid and guilt stricken. So they try to harm that which they believe causes the guilt.

* "his heart failed him" -Yet he did not repent. He did not thank the Lord. He did not thank his wife.

* An unrepentant man, though grieved for his errors, will meet his dome. Judas, who betrayed Jesus is like Nabal.

>How did David repay Abigail's kindness?

* 1 Samuel 25:39-44 "When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, "Praise be to the Lord, who has upheld my cause against Nabal for treating me with contempt. He has kept his servant from doing wrong and has brought Nabal's wrongdoing down on his own head." Then David sent word to Abigail, asking her to become his wife. His servants went to Carmel and said to Abigail, "David has sent us to you to take you to become his wife." She bowed down with her face to the ground and said, "Here is your maidservant, ready to serve you and wash the feet of my master's servants." Abigail quickly got on a donkey and, attended by her five maids, went with David's messengers and became his wife. David had also married Ahinoam of Jezreel, and they both were his wives. But Saul had given his daughter Michal, David's wife, to Paltiel son of Laish, who was from Gallim."

* Abigail took great risk and the Lord repaid her.

* Saul gave away David's wife to another. The Lord countered the act by giving David a wife of noble character and beauty far greater than his first wife. Every evil act that Saul does, the Lord counters. The Lord looks out for his people.

* "the Lord, who has upheld my cause" -God will not always let people walk all over his people. If we show kindness for evil, passing the test and growing in character, the Lord Jesus will relieve us of the aggressor.

* David married her because indirectly he was the cause of her husband's death. David did not want her to be a widow, the lowest person legally and socially.

* "asking her to become his wife" -By marrying her, not only did David receive an honorable wife, but all of Nabal's house.

* "Ahinoam of Jezreel" -The Bible does not say when they married. Her only son mentioned in Amnon, David's eldest. (2 Sam. 3:2)

* The Scriptures just stated the facts about David's wives without making comments of it being wrong or right.

* "David sent word to Abigail... his servants" -Wedding customs were consistent for a long time. The bridegroom sends his servants to the bride to ask for them in marraige. John the baptist called himself the friend of Jesus, the bridegroom. (John 3:29)

* "attended by her five maids" -Jesus told the parable of the ten maids; five foolish, five wise. (Matt. 25:10)

* "Here is your maidservant" -Believers in Jesus are more than willing to be a servant to Jesus and all he sends to them.

III. David Again Spares Saul's Life (26:1-25)

>How did Saul show his fickleness? (1-4)

* 1 Samuel 26:1-4 "The Ziphites went to Saul at Gibeah and said, "Is not David hiding on the hill of Hakilah, which faces Jeshimon?" So Saul went down to the Desert of Ziph, with his three thousand chosen men of Israel, to search there for David. Saul made his camp beside the road on the hill of Hakilah facing Jeshimon, but David stayed in the desert. When he saw that Saul had followed him there, he sent out scouts and learned that Saul had definitely arrived.

* "the Ziphites went to Saul" -Saul had not been seeking David. The Ziphites stirred up bad emotions and desires in David. They were opportunists of the worst kind.

* "So Saul went down" -Saul showed himself to be a man easily influenced and not to be trusted.

>When David saw Saul sleeping what did he do? (5-7)

* 1 Samuel 26:5-7 "Then David set out and went to the place where Saul had camped. He saw where Saul and Abner son of Ner, the commander of the army, had lain down. Saul was lying inside the camp, with the army encamped around him. David then asked Ahimelech the Hittite and Abishai son of Zeruiah, Joab's brother, "Who will go down into the camp with me to Saul?" "I'll go with you," said Abishai. So David and Abishai went to the army by night, and there was Saul, lying asleep inside the camp with his spear stuck in the ground near his head. Abner and the soldiers were lying around him."

* "Hittite" -The Lord told Israel to drive them out of Canaan. (Josh. 1:4) Their empire came to an end around 1,200 B.C., two hundred years before Saul's reign. Hittite city states remained as strongholds until the Assyrians wiped them out in the eighth century.

* "around him" -Saul was completely protected and David was completely exposed. Yet the Lord protected David, not Saul.

* "Abishai" -Abishai, David's nephew (1 Chron. 2:13-16), remained at David's side to the end, one of David's famous mighty men. (2 Sam. 23:18)

* David is not afraid to take the initiative and go right up to Saul's camp with only one man at this side. Saul surrounds himself with three thousand troops acting if fear. Fear is the opposite of faith. Jesus taught, "I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him." (Luke 12:4-5)

>9. What opportunity was David told he had been given?

* 1 Samuel 26:8 "Abishai said to David, "Today God has delivered your enemy into your hands. Now let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of my spear; I won't strike him twice."

* "God has delivered your enemy into your hands" -Saul was there to take David's life, so David could have acted in self defense. Yet David again respected to office of king, though the king was sent on doing evil.

>What did everyone know about David that he could not forget? (23:17; 24:20)

* 1 Samuel 23:17 "Don't be afraid," he said. "My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this."

* 1 Samuel 24:20 "I know that you will surely be king and that the kingdom of Israel will be established in your hands."

* David was set to be king, but he would not have anyone claim that he obtained the throne through killing Saul. He waited for God to deal with Saul as he had dealt with Nabal.

>10. What reason did he give for not killing the king? (9-11)

* 1 Samuel 26:9-11 "But David said to Abishai, "Don't destroy him! Who can lay a hand on the Lord's anointed and be guiltless? 10 As surely as the Lord lives," he said, "the Lord himself will strike him; either his time will come and he will die, or he will go into battle and perish. 11 But the Lord forbid that I should lay a hand on the Lord's anointed. Now get the spear and water jug that are near his head, and let's go."

* "the Lord's anointed" -David respected the title.

>what principle did David learn with Nagal that we should learn? (Matt. 5:43-46)

* Matthew 5:43-46 "You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?"

* David had the fear of God and the love of God.

* David was truthful.

* David did not address Saul, but Abner to prove his point.

>Why did Saul give up that time and go home?

* 1 Samuel 26:12-25 "So David took the spear and water jug near Saul's head, and they left. No one saw or knew about it, nor did anyone wake up. They were all sleeping, because the Lord had put them into a deep sleep. 13 Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them. 14 He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, "Aren't you going to answer me, Abner?" Abner replied, "Who are you who calls to the king?" 15 David said, "You're a man, aren't you? And who is like you in Israel? Why didn't you guard your lord the king? Someone came to destroy your lord the king. 16 What you have done is not good. As surely as the Lord lives, you and your men deserve to die, because you did not guard your master, the Lord's anointed. Look around you. Where are the king's spear and water jug that were near his head?" 17 Saul recognized David's voice and said, "Is that your voice, David my son?" David replied, "Yes it is, my lord the king." 18 And he added, "Why is my lord pursuing his servant? What have I done, and what wrong am I guilty of? 19 Now let my lord the king listen to his servant's words. If the Lord has incited you against me, then may he accept an offering. If, however, men have done it, may they be cursed before the Lord! They have now driven me from my share in the Lord's inheritance and have said, 'Go, serve other gods.' 20 Now do not let my blood fall to the ground far from the presence of the Lord. The king of Israel has come out to look for a flea--as one hunts a partridge in the mountains." 21 Then Saul said, "I have sinned. Come back, David my son. Because you considered my life precious today, I will not try to harm you again. Surely I have acted like a fool and have erred greatly." 22 "Here is the king's spear," David answered. "Let one of your young men come over and get it. 23 The Lord rewards every man for his righteousness and faithfulness. The Lord delivered you into my hands today, but I would not lay a hand on the Lord's anointed. 24 As surely as I valued your life today, so may the Lord value my life and deliver me from all trouble." 25 Then Saul said to David, "May you be blessed, my son David; you will do great things and surely triumph." So David went on his way, and Saul returned home."

* "I have acted like a fool" -Saul was embarrassed again. He is just as much a fool as Nabal.

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